Know What to Look For So You Can Get Help
Depression is more than just feeling down in the dumps from time to time. It’s a mood disorder than can completely disrupt daily living, creating feelings of despair and uncertainty. Isolation, financial woes and sometimes medication side effects can trigger depression. Many seniors face these feelings daily and may find it difficult to reach out for help. Know the signs of depression in seniors so you can help your loved one.
Medication Side Effects
Getting older means facing different health issues that often require ongoing medication and treatment. Unfortunately, some of these meds counteract with others and trigger a myriad of other symptoms. This can lead to feelings of despair and may even exacerbate underlying feelings of sadness or depression.
That’s why it’s important, if your loved one sees multiple doctors, that they are part of an interdisciplinary care system. This means they are in the same practice or network of care coordinating the best care for the patient. It prevents medication overuse by working closely to come up with a reasonable and safe plan of care and prescription dosage.
Feeling excessively sad and overwhelmed is not a normal part of aging. When these feelings don’t go away or make everyday life hard to muster through, it’s time to seek help.
Worrying about paying bills or what debt will be left behind after death can compound underlying depression symptoms. Knowing that a loved one is overwhelmed and purposely isolating themselves should spark attention. Seek medical help first and then sit down with a financial advisor to sift through any unresolved money concerns.
Many homebound seniors adapt to not getting out routinely. But if your loved one is suddenly refusing care or even a visit, depression could be the cause. Not wanting to face others or feeling too drained to get out of bed are signs that should be addressed by a health professional.
Never ignore signs of depression such as irritability, malnourishment and over-tiredness. Many times it’s a subtle cry for help. Getting assistance right away can improve mental and physical health and in some cases, even save a life.
Start with an appointment with your loved one’s family doctor. Treatment involves a health screening to rule out any underlying medical problems or adjust existing medications. From there, therapy, antidepressant medications and establishing a solid support system is the key to tackling depression.
If a loved one has feelings of suicide, don’t wait to reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Knowing that depression is treatable, and no one has to go through it alone provides light at the end of the tunnel.
~Here’s to Your Financial Health