While depression and depressive episodes can happen to anyone at any time and for almost any reason, many older adults have things happen in their lives and in their bodies that make depression more likely for them. But if they haven’t had much experience with depression before, they may find it hard to recognize, accept, and cope with. Luckily, there are things that can be done to help with all of these things.
To show you just what to do, here are three tips for coping with depression as an older adult.
Know The Subtle Symptoms
When people think of depression, they often will imagine people feeling very hopeless, lacking all energy, and having thoughts about self harm. However, there are so many more facets of depression that can often go unrecognized if people don’t know to look for them, especially with older adults.
For many older adults, depression can show up in ways like feeling tired, trouble sleeping, changes to appetite, chronic aches and pains, losing interest in activities, and more. While changes like these things can just be part of aging, they can also be signs of imbalances that can lead to depression. So if you have an older loved one that’s experiencing these things or have noticed these things within yourself, it could be worth doing some more exploration.
If you or your elderly loved one start to recognize signs of depression within their life, one of the best things that you can do is to get curious about what is going on and what may be causing this.
Sometimes, if your loved one has just moved into a senior living facility or had some other life change, this transition could be causing their depression. Other times, a new medication, health issues, and lifestyle could be a contributing factor. Once you know what’s going on and can come up with some reasons as to why, you might be able to make some changes together that could help make things better.
Seek Professional Help When Necessary
Even with some healthy lifestyle changes, there is some depression that needs more in order to alleviate the symptoms. In times like this, you should encourage your elderly loved one to seek professional help. This can come in the form of taking medication, speaking with a therapist, or any other therapies that could prove to be beneficial to them. As long as they know that there’s nothing wrong with getting help and you’re supporting them in this effort, this could be just what they need to fight against the depression that they’ve feeling in their life.
If you as an older adult are experiencing depression or know of an older adult trying to cope with depression, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you know how to get through this tough time.