Many older adults report feelings of happiness and satisfaction as they age, which is why it can be frustrating when you or your loved one experiences signs of depression. The best thing you can do is equip yourself with knowledge about the condition and ways to treat it. Continue reading to learn some of the causes and signs of depression—and how to cope with it.
What Causes Depression in Older Adults?
Depression is a mood disorder that can affect the way you think, feel, and act. It can happen to anyone but it is not a normal part of aging. So what actually causes depression in older adults?
According to the National Council on Aging, depression risk factors for seniors include:
- Chronic health conditions
- Decreased functional ability
- Reduced mobility
- Chronic pain
- Caregiver stress
- Lack of physical activity
Note that there is no single, specific cause of depression. And even though you or your loved one’s experience with depression may differ, it’s still a condition that requires treatment.
Common Signs of Depression to Look Out For
When you’re living with depression it can be challenging to identify and explain what you are going through. Here are some common signs of depression, according to the CDC:
- Feelings of sadness or anxiety that last for weeks at a time
- Feelings of hopelessness, and/or pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
- Irritability, restlessness
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies you previously enjoyed
- Fatigue and decreased energy
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
- Overeating or appetite loss
The CDC also lists persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not get better, even with treatment, as another possible sign of depression. A medical professional will be able to help determine if depression is a cause of these issues.
How to Overcome Depression
As noted by the National Council on Aging, depression isn’t necessarily something that can be prevented. However, there are some actions you can take to boost your mental wellness.
1. Seek Treatment
Depression is a serious condition that requires medical treatment. This may include, but is not limited to, antidepressant medications, counseling, and the creation of a custom wellness plan. A medical professional should be your most trusted partner in your fight against depression.
2. Adopt Healthier Habits
Staying active, building better sleep habits, and eating healthier are three actions you can take to boost your overall physical and mental health. Building healthier habits isn’t always easy and it may be necessary to seek outside help in your efforts to change your lifestyle for the better. Speak to a nutritionist for guidance, or a medical professional if you plan to change your exercise routine.
3. Find Community
Seniors are at a greater risk for social isolation and loneliness — and both of these conditions can contribute to depression. Engaging with community networks can ease these symptoms. So call a friend for lunch, or volunteer with a favorite cause. If you are feeling isolated, it might be worth looking into the possibility of moving into a senior living community, which offers numerous opportunities to connect with others.
Find New Ways to Connect at Harbour’s Edge
Harbour’s Edge is a luxury senior living community in Delray Beach, Florida, that provides the ideal setting for you to continue to live your best life and make new friends. It’s also easier to socialize and live a healthier lifestyle when you have the help of a community.
Contact us or complete the form below to learn more about life at Harbour’s Edge.