Could Your Dad Be Depressed Without You Realizing It?

For adults aged 65 or older, about 2 million have a form of depression. Losing a spouse, child, or significant other can play a part in depression in the elderly. Being diagnosed with a chronic health condition is another reason for clinical depression.

Senior Care in Kentwood MI: Seniors and Depression

Senior Care in Kentwood MI: Seniors and Depression

One of the worries with seniors who are depressed is the risk of suicide. About 2 out of 10 suicides involves an elderly man or woman. If your dad is depressed, you need to get him help as soon as possible. It’s not something to delay. You may need to be pushy when it comes to getting the diagnosis. Mental Health America’s statistics find primary care doctors often fail to correctly diagnose the illness.

Signs of Depression in the Elderly.

In senior citizens, there are three symptoms that often appear. The first is a change in diet. People who are depressed may stop eating and lose weight. Others start binge eating and will gain weight quickly.

The second is a general feeling of sadness that doesn’t go away. It’s fine to be sad now and then. With depression, the person is sad for days that extend into weeks that extend into months. When weeks of continued sadness occur, it’s a good indicator of depression.

The third symptom that seniors experience involves sleeping habits. Some seniors sleep far longer than usual. You might find your dad staying in bed until noon or even later. Insomnia is another issue. The senior tries to sleep, but it’s just hard to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Those are the main symptoms. There are others like agitation and irritability, unexplained pain, withdrawal from favorite activities, and a lack of energy. If you notice your dad’s social routines changing, it could be depression.

How Do You Treat Depression?

Treating depression isn’t always a quick and easy routine. Your dad’s doctor may prescribe an antidepressant. Others will recommend therapeutic groups or counseling sessions before resorting to medications.

When your dad is depressed, you should make sure that socialization doesn’t become impacted. He may not want to see friends or go out with family, but it’s important. If you really can’t get your dad to leave the house, bring family members in for meals every now and then. You don’t want isolation and loneliness adding to his depression.

If you don’t live close enough to make sure your parent socializes, senior care services help. Caregivers spend time with your dad. Caregivers can drive them to stores and senior centers. They make sure he’s not isolating himself from friends and others in the community.

If you or someone you know needs help with senior care in Kentwood, MI, contact Gauthier Family Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services in our community. Call us at (616) 258-2300 for more information.





About Dan Gauthier

Dan Gauthier has a long and successful business pedigree. He spent his college years working in the restaurant business and worked in various executive management positions at Universal Forest Products, Inc. over a span of 17 years, and Therm Technology / Family Safety Products for 12 years.

When the recession hit in 2008 Dan was “downsized” from UFP and spent a few years consulting for local companies Amway and Cascade Engineering. During this period Dan’s in-laws were experiencing catastrophic health problems and it required Dan’s wife Marion to focus full time on caregiving for her mother. Marion enlisted help from a local home care agency and it did not go well. This experience led to the creation of Gauthier Family Home Care, a home care agency that is uniquely holistic and family centric. Dan now works full time running GFHC.