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Elderly Home Care and Depression

It is important to recognize depression symptoms when caring for an elderly loved one. While seniors aging in their own home can help them maintain their independence, it can also be isolating.

Published: Feb 25, 2014

Elderly Home Care and Depression

When caring for an elderly loved-one, it is important to recognize the signs of depression and know how elderly home care services can help.

As seniors age, the notion of aging in place has become much more popular. Remaining in the comfort of their home for as long as possible can create a sense of independence; however, it can also create isolation. Due to the loss of a spouse, siblings or friends, seniors often become much less active physically and socially. As a family member, it is important to know the signs, as depression can have serious repercussions for a senior.

63% of seniors experience unmet needs for mental health services. Prolonged depression can lead to an increase in mortality and disability, higher health care utilization and longer hospital stays. Signs that an elderly loved-one is depressed often get brushed aside as being age-related symptoms. Some signs to be aware of are:

  • Becoming anti-social
  • Change in attitude, such as grumpiness
  • Unexplainable weight loss
  • Extreme fatigue and loss of energy
  • Sleeping more or at odd hours
  • Lack of interest in once enjoyable activities

Depression often comes with a stigma and many seniors grew up in an era where depression was looked at as a weakness or character flaw. This may lead to the elderly loved-one brushing it off as nothing and convincing family members that they are fine. In order to increase their quality of life, elderly home care services are offered.

Elderly home care services, like the ones Comfort Keepers® offers, can help the senior remain active and engaged in the community. Companionship care offers the senior someone to sit with during the day, converse with, eat meals with and play games with. Having a person that is there for them, whether it be a family member or professional care giver, can make the senior feel important and connected.

Transportation services are also provided with an elderly home care service. Many seniors are unable to drive themselves to and from social gatherings, doctor appointments or daily errands. Utilizing a transportation service will ensure that the elderly loved-one remains active socially and will decrease the feeling of isolation.

The quality of life of an individual is determined by much more than just physical wellness. It encompasses a person's social activity, the role they play in their family and community and their life satisfaction.


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