Many seniors struggle to adjust to life in long-term care facilities. They often feel a loss of independence and a separation from family, which over time can lead to depression.
Be alert for these seven signs of depression:
Sadness or Irritabilty
Sudden mood shifts may signal depression. Patients may experience bouts of sadness or feelings of hopelessness. You may also observe an increased level of anxiety.
Depressed patients are more likely to worry about their memory problems. They also may have difficulty concentrating.
Chronic Fatigue or Sleep Disturbances
You may notice a lack of energy or a change in sleep patterns. Patients may struggle to fall asleep at night or have difficulty staying awake during the day.
Patients who are reluctant to leave their rooms or visit with family may be experiencing depression. They often lose interest in hobbies or abandon activities.
It's not uncommon for mental pain to present itself through physical pain. Declining heath, whether from chronic illness or disabilities, may also contribute to feelings of depression.
Slowed Movement and Speech
The language and motor skills of depressed patients may slow, while remaining functional. This is an important distinction from dementia patients, who have impaired language and motor skills.
Loss of Appetite
Take note of anyone skipping meals. Depressed patients often experience a loss of appetite, which leads to weight loss.