While growing up your mom was always there to lift your spirits when you were feeling down.

Ever since your dad passed away, you’ve noticed that your mother just doesn’t seem to have the same twinkle in her eye or outgoing demeanor that she used to. It’s harder to get her to engage in conversation, she’s not socializing with friends, and her home isn’t being kept up with the same prideful tidiness as before. Something’s wrong, and you sense that your mom is depressed.

Studies have found that millions of elderly Americans experience at least one serious bout of depression per year.

Seniors deserve to live with the same level of happiness and wellbeing that others do, but studies have found that millions of elderly Americans experience at least one serious bout of depression per year. Symptoms of depression are harder to detect in seniors than in younger individuals, and oftentimes get overlooked. But if their depression goes untreated serious medical conditions can develop, jeopardizing their ability to age in place within their own home. And, you certainly don’t want that to happen to your mom. So in an effort to help you determine if your mother’s depressed, here are some of the warning signs to look for.

Symptoms of Depression in Seniors

According to the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Aging, these are some of the symptoms when a senior is suffering from depression:

  • Lack of energy and feeling tired all the time
  • Loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed like socializing, hobbies and sex
  • Difficulty focusing, remembering or making decisions
  • Having trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Increased stress, anxiety and/or worry
  • Socially-isolating from others
  • Using alcohol and/or drugs to excess
  • Rapid weight loss or gain
  • Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, guilt and/or worthlessness
  • Aches and pains that don’t go away even with treatment
  • Thoughts of death, suicide or even a suicide attempt
  • Unexplained or frequent crying episodes
  • Irritability, anger and lashing out at others

If your elderly mother exhibits several of these signs for a period lasting for more than two weeks, it’s best to encourage her to schedule an appointment with her doctor. If your mom has internet access, there are also mental health screenings available online. Any suicidal thoughts or tendencies should be addressed immediately by a mental health specialist. Once depression is diagnosed, a healthcare professional can recommend a treatment program that’s best for mom. Spending time socializing with others is always good therapy for depressed seniors, especially when they’ve experienced the recent loss of a spouse. That’s something you certainly can do, whether it’s a daily phone call, taking her to lunch, or just stopping by your mother’s home to visit. Unfortunately, there are going to be instances where time and distance prohibit you from doing so.

When Your Mother’s Depressed We Can Help

Depression is a fairly common condition in older Americans, impacting millions each year. Untreated depression can interfere with a senior loved one’s normal daily living activities and their ability to age in place within the comfort of their own home. If your mother’s been diagnosed with depression, you’ll want to take measures to ensure that doesn’t happen. However, there will be times when you need a break or simply will be too far away to provide the caregiving she needs. And that’s when a licensed caregiver from First in Care can step in and provide your mother with the temporary nurturing she deserves.

Whether it’s companionship to keep her socially engaged, or some assistance with exercise, preparing a nutritious meal or just getting around, we’ve got the family-trusted senior in-home caregivers your mom needs. At First in Care, we always deliver our compassionate home care services within an affordable and flexible package designed to restore your peace-of-mind. For more information on how First in Car can lend a hand when your mother’s feeling down in the Manatee County, FL area, visit our request a consultation page for a free in home discussion.