If you have an elderly loved one who appears to be depressed, it is not just a symptom of growing older. When a person turns 65, it is said that they are in their Golden Years.
This means that they can finally relax, stop working, and finally have time to enjoy their lives. The Golden Years are supposed to make a person happy and depression is not part of the equation. If your loved one appears to be depressed at a time that they should seek treatment.
Look For The Signs
Most people won’t come right out and tell you that they are depressed. They will tell you that they aren’t sad or they aren’t lonely because they don’t want to be a burden on you and your family. You cannot treat depression unless you are able to pick up on the symptoms. If you suspect that your loved one is depressed, you should start paying close attention to their behavior. They can start showing subtle signs of the condition, such as become agitated and irritable over nothing. Some people who are depressed will wring their hands excessively or they will have trouble sitting still. There are also people who stop enjoying things that they used to enjoy when they are depressed. The sooner you recognize the signs, the sooner you can help them get the treatment that they need.
Don’t Feel The Need To Do Too Much
When your loved one is depressed, they may not want to get up and take care of things that they need to do. If you start cleaning their house, doing their shopping, and handling all of their responsibilities, it could worsen their condition. If you are doing everything for your loved one, it will only make them feel more worthless. Rather than doing everything for them, you can help them and do these things together.
Let Them Know That They Can Talk About Their Feelings
If your loved one has become depressed, there is likely a reason. For some, health issues can cause depression. For others, losing their independence by being unable to get around like they once did or being unable to drive are reasons that they can become depressed. One very common cause of this condition is the loss of a spouse. If you notice that your loved one is depressed, you should encourage them to talk about their feelings. Talking can help your loved one feel better and it can help you to understand them more.
Understand That It Is a Disease
If your loved one is growing older and they become depressed, it is important to understand that it is a disease. You can’t tell them to snap out of it and expect them to suddenly start feeling better. It will take a professional to treat their condition and get them feeling better. Professional help is the only way to help them to feel like their old self again.
Participate In Their Medical Care
In order for your loved one to start feeling better, they will need professional help. Because of all of the privacy laws today, doctors are not allowed to release a patient’s medical information to anyone without consent. If you want to be updated about your loved one’s condition, you should suggest that they sign a waiver, giving their doctor permission to update you on their condition. This will make it possible for you to help them better.
Be Present, But Not Intrusive
If your loved one is depressed, they are going to need your support. It is important to understand, however, that there is a difference between supporting your loved one and being intrusive. If you are constantly overstepping your bounds and you are smothering your loved one, they are likely to push you away. If you want them to talk to you about their feelings and you want them to get them the help that they need, you need to find the line between being supporting and being intrusive and be sure not to go over the line. Depression is not just a symptom of old age. If you believe that your loved one is depressed, you should follow the tips listed above to help treat depression. The sooner they start feeling better, the sooner they can start enjoying their Golden Years.