How to Recognize Depression in a Senior Family Member

  • February 10, 2020

A post-holiday slump can happen at any age. After the hustle and bustle of celebrating, the grey days of winter can prove challenging. This is especially true for older adults who might avoid venturing out in snowy weather. They may find themselves feeling isolated and alone.

This situation can lead to the winter blues. Unfortunately, older adults who live alone are also at increased risk for depression. Recognizing when a senior you love is feeling more than just post-holiday doldrums is essential.

4 Common Signs of Depression in a Senior

Contrary to popular belief, there are more symptoms of depression than sadness. If you are the caregiver or adult child of a senior, some signs of depression to be aware of include:

  1. Withdrawing from favorite activities: If a family elder has started backing away from favorite clubs and pastimes, it might be a sign of a problem. Losing interest in their religious organization, volunteer work, or even their circle of friends may be a red flag for depression.
  2. Losing interest in personal appearance: When a senior’s appearance becomes unkempt, it might be something to talk about with them. In some instances, they could be struggling with personal care and might need the support of an assisted living community or in-home caregiver. The change might also be a symptom of depression.
  3. Undergoing a change in disposition: Another sign of trouble is a change in disposition. If a mild-mannered senior is easily angered or overreacts to small problems, discuss it with their physician. This is not a typical part of aging.
  4. Losing weight unintentionally: Have you noticed a senior you love gaining or losing weight without trying? Both can be signs they are struggling. Address it with their primary care physician to determine the cause.

Other symptoms include sleeping too much or too little, excessive worrying, fidgeting, and pacing. Learn more by visiting Depression in the Elderly.

Bookmark the Five Star Senior Living Blog

If you are a senior or a caregiver for one, we encourage you to bookmark the Five Star Senior Living Blog and stop back often. We publish articles with the latest news on caregiving and aging throughout the week.

For questions about senior living, call the Five Star community nearest you. One of our experienced team members will be happy to answer them or set up a personal visit.


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51 Warning Signs

51 Warning Signs

As you care for your aging loved ones, learn how to spot unusual behaviors ranging from poor nutrition to depression.

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