Recognizing Signs of Depression in Seniors Affected by Alzheimer’s

A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s is a life-altering event, so it’s no surprise that many seniors affected by the disease tend to also experience depression.

However, depression can fly under the radar somewhat because so many of its symptoms overlap with the symptoms of Alzheimer’s itself. It’s important to take note of whether your loved one with Alzheimer’s is also struggling with depression, because the latter is treatable and the right interventions can improve their quality of life.

Some of the common signs of depression are:

  • Apathetic or detached mood
  • Tendency to isolate
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of concentration

If you notice these signs in your loved one, contact their doctor, who can assess their condition and provide a treatment plan.

How You Can Help

There are several things you can do to support a loved one with Alzheimer’s and ward off depression. Creating an environment that supports health and well-being goes a long way. Here are some ideas that may help.

Be an active listener

Having a trusted confidante can make a huge difference in the life of someone dealing with a chronic condition like Alzheimer’s. Make space for all the emotions your loved one may be experiencing and become a person they feel comfortable sharing their thoughts with.

Encourage a healthy lifestyle

Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and promote happiness. Schedule regular workout times with your loved one. Even something as simple as a brisk walk is helpful.

Develop mindfulness

Life takes on a new dimension when you make it a priority to pay attention to the small things. Be the type of person who notices a beautiful sunset or a delicious meal. Your example may encourage your loved one to do the same.

Ask for help if needed

If you feel overwhelmed by the task of helping a loved one with Alzheimer’s or depression, help is available. Western States Home Health Care Agency offers senior health care and geriatric therapy to assist with seniors’ mental and physical health needs.

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