Depression & Your Aging Loved One: How Home Health Care Can Help

Posted on: 5 August 2016

While there are a number of physical and mental side effects associated with aging, depression is an emotional disorder which can lead to a poorer quality of life for your aging loved one. If you're caring for an aging friend or family member who you believe is suffering from depression, consider the information offered below.

How Can You Tell If Your Loved One is Suffering?

If your loved one is suffering from depression, there will likely be a number of visible symptoms.

The most common symptoms are sadness and apathy. You may notice that your loved one no longer cares for hobbies that they once loved, and they may withdraw from their friends and family. Your aging loved one may complain of fatigue, and it's also common for an elderly person with depression to experience a loss of appetite.

What Can You Do to Help Your Loved One?

If your loved one is suffering from depression, the number one thing you can do for them is to be there.

Your loved one may not feel much up to company, but spending a bit of quality time with your loved one can do a lot to brighten their mood. If you're a caretaker, it's important to put aside your care taking duties every now and again and simply interact with your loved one as you used to. While it's important not to push your loved one to do anything they don't feel up to, encourage them to visit with friends, pick up an old hobby, or go for a leisurely stroll through the neighborhood.

How Can Home Health Care Help?

If you're caring for an aging loved one who's suffering from depression, then it may be time to bring in a home health nurse.

As depression in the elderly becomes better understood by the medical community, more and more home health nurses are becoming qualified to screen for depression in their home health patients. If your loved one's home health nurse suspects depression, there are a number of treatments available, such as therapy and medication, that can improve your loved one's quality of life. Depression screenings are even more important for those elderly individuals who're housebound, as loss of mobility and lessened social interaction play a large role in the development of depression.

If you're the caretaker of a loved one who you believe is suffering from depression, consult with their home health nurse or doctor today.