Community Blog

Five Factors that Can Contribute to Elderly Depression

By Ketan Shah

Millions of aging adults face depression every day. In some cases it might be mild and disappear on its own. But for other seniors, depression becomes severe and robs them of their quality of life.

Cognitive Issues

Whether your elderly family member is battling Alzheimer's disease or other changes to her cognitive abilities, she may experience depression as a result. If her brain isn't working in the same way that it used to, that's going to affect her emotionally. She can also experience changes to how her brain controls hormones and other chemicals the body creates, which can lead to an imbalance and to depression.

Chronic, Long-term Pain

Long-term chronic pain is debilitating. It changes how your elderly family member experiences the world and how she interacts with the people in her life. She may not be able to do the things that she used to love to do and that easily leads to depression. Work with her doctor to make sure that you're doing everything that you can do in order to help her manage her pain.

Declining Health

Other health issues can also be a problem for your senior emotionally. When her health starts to decline, she can experience many of the same feelings as she would with chronic pain. If she's dealing with both chronic pain and declining health, she may feel as if she's dealing with a situation she can't resolve.

Loss and Grief

Over the years, everyone experiences grief and loss, including your aging adult. But those feelings don't get easier to manage no matter how often your elderly family member loses people that she loves. Remember also that your senior can grieve for other types of loss, such as the loss of her ability to do what she used to do or her loss of cognitive abilities. These are valid losses, even if they're intangible.

Fear of What Happens Next

Fear of the unknown is a big issue for a lot of people and your aging adult may be wrestling with this. Combined with health issues, pain, and grief, what happens next can be so vague and terrifying that your elderly family member may not be able to see the good that is still happening for her. It can also lead to severe depression.

If you think that your elderly family member might be showing signs of depression, talking to her doctor is an important first step. Her doctor can help you and your senior to work through possible medical causes and recommend solutions. Depression isn't something that your elderly family member has to just put up with because there are answers available.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring home care in Mountain View, CA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers today (408) 259-5930.