Depression can occur at any point in a person’s life, making it important to remain alert for the signs of depression in aging parents and loved ones. Older adults often struggle with periods of prolonged sadness that may be related to a significant life change, or depression can occur with no obvious reason. While it can be difficult to watch a loved one suffer from a mental health condition, there are many things that can be done to help improve their well-being.
- Keep Communication Open
It is common for a person who is new to depression to deny that there is a problem. Whether this is due to the stigma that can be attached to mental health conditions or they are unable to see the changes in their mood, most people will eventually accept their loved one’s concern as a sign that they need to seek help. Caregivers who suspect depression in their loved one should maintain an open dialogue and respond with compassion to any requests for help.
- Schedule a Medical Exam
Sometimes, depression is related to a chemical imbalance in the brain that can be treated with medication prescribed by a doctor or senior care specialist. Prolonged periods of shifting moods can also be due to medication side effects, a nutrition deficiency or a new health condition that limits one’s ability to live independently. In many instances, treating the physical cause of depression can help a person to find relief.
- Provide Social Support
Senior adults who become isolated are at a greater risk for depression, and it is important to check in regularly with anyone who struggles with a mental health condition. Be sure to spend time with your loved one and offer them opportunities to engage in social activities. If possible, include periods of activity outdoors, such as a walk, so that the senior adult can enjoy the mood-boosting benefits of the sun. By keeping a person engaged in their favorite activities, they will be more likely to experience a lifted mood that can help to alleviate the symptoms of depression.
If you are not able to check in on your aging parent or loved one regularly and you are concerned about their mental health, contact Home Care Assistance of Milwaukee today. Our professional Milwaukee caregivers can provide hourly or live-in care and can assist your aging loved one with household chores and personal care while providing the invaluable companionship they need to remain engaged.
For more information about home care, Milwaukee families can call 414-240-6094 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with an experienced Care Manager.