Indiana Seniors and Depression: How to Recognize the Warning Signs
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Indiana Seniors and Depression: How to Recognize the Warning Signs

February 3, 2015

Indiana Seniors and Depression: How to Recognize the Warning Signs
For an Indiana senior who lives alone, the letdown after the holidays can be tough to cope with. When icy, snowy weather makes it difficult to get out and about to spend time with friends and loved ones, it can add to the struggle. An older adult may experience a mild case of cabin fever or a more serious case of depression. Knowing how to recognize if an aging loved one is suffering from more than a mild case of the winter blues is important for both their mental and physical health.
Signs That Indicate an Indiana Senior May Be Depressed
People sometimes think the only real symptom of depression is someone appearing to be very sad. There are, however, more subtle warning signs to be aware of that could indicate trouble for a senior friend or family member. Here are a few to know and watch for in the older adults in your life:
  • Has a senior member of your church or synagogue who has always attended services faithfully not been showing up? Or an older volunteer at your school or non-profit group withdrawn their support? Losing interest in favorite activities can be a sign of depression.
  • Has your grandmother started showing up looking disheveled or unkempt after always being someone who never left the house without being perfectly groomed? Lack of attention to personal care might indicate a problem.
  • Is an always happy older neighbor become noticeably irritable and agitated? It can be a signal that something is wrong.
  • Has a normally active parent started complaining about a variety of new aches and pains? They may be feeling isolated and alone. Both can contribute to depression.
  • Have you noticed that a senior you love is gaining or losing weight without trying to? Both can be signs they are struggling. It is something that needs to be addressed with their primary care physician to determine the cause.
Learn More About Depression in an Indiana Senior
To learn more about depression in later life and what to do if you suspect a senior loved one is at risk, the National Alliance for Mental Illness developed a fact sheet that can help. Depression in Older Persons covers a variety of topics ranging from health conditions that often cause depression to how the illness is treated.