When it comes to mental health, society spends a lot of time focusing on our youth. And rightfully so. Many teenagers and young adults lack the mental and emotional conditioning required to navigate depression safely. However, keep in mind that for some people, depression doesn’t go away with age. In fact, it can get worse.
Contributing Factors For Senior Depression
Growing older and finally retiring from the workforce is a milestone in life that many people can’t wait to reach. Unfortunately, our twilight years can also bring on an increased risk of depression. According to the National Institute on Aging, the following factors may lead to depression in seniors:
Having a family history of depression is a known risk factor for depression.
As people grow older and begin to lose control of their daily lives, they are likely to experience higher stress levels.
Sleep Problems/Lack of Exercise
Regardless of age, issues with sleeping or inadequate exercise can take a heavy toll on mental health.
Severe medical conditions are a significant contributor to depression due to the negative impact on day-to-day life.
As humans, we require social connections to continue giving us purpose and enjoyment in life. Unfortunately, many older adults cannot venture out as often as they were formerly accustomed to, and the COVID-19 pandemic only compounds this issue.
Addiction and Substance Abuse
Whether it is the abuse of prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, or illegal drugs and alcohol, any mind-altering substance not used for its intended purpose can have devastating effects on mental health.
Watch for Signs of Depression in Your Aging Loved Ones
With the holidays just around the corner, it is vital to monitor your senior family members for signs of depression. This is because, while most people anxiously await the holiday season, those who are suffering from loneliness will only feel worse during this time.
At CJ & Associates Care Consulting, we value the mental health and overall wellbeing of our senior community above all else. Therefore, if you notice any change of behavior in your aging loved ones that may indicate depression, it is essential to initiate a conversation and, if needed, seek professional help.
One way to help your elderly family member enjoy a good quality of life is to enroll in a care management plan. CJ & Associates Care Consulting offers diverse and customizable plans with highly professional and compassionate care managers to guide you through the process. Contact us today to learn more or to set up an appointment.