What are the Risk Factors of Depression in Elderly?
There are many things that may be risk factors of depression for the elderly. Many of the risk factors are similar for the elderly as for younger people.
For some people, changes in the brain can affect mood and result in depression. Others may experience depression after a major life event, like a medical diagnosis or a loved one’s death.
Sometimes, those under a lot of stress — especially people who care for elderly loved ones or family members with a disability or chronic illness — can feel depressed. Others may become depressed for no clear reason.
The elderly can face more social isolation which can be a contributing factor for depression in older adults and the elderly.
Research has shown that these factors are related to the risk of depression, but do not necessarily cause depression:
- Medical conditions, such as stroke or cancer
- Genes – people who have a family history of depression may be at higher risk
- Stress, including caregiver stress
- Sleep problems
- Social isolation and loneliness
- Lack of exercise or physical activity
- Functional limitations that make engaging in activities of daily living difficult
- Addiction and/or alcoholism —included in Substance-Induced Depressive Disorder
Social Isolation and the Link with Depression in the Elderly
Everyone needs social connections to survive and thrive. But as people age, they often find themselves spending more time alone. Studies show that loneliness and social isolation are associated with higher rates of depression.
Risks of Depression During the Holidays
While the holidays brings a great deal of jot it can also be a time of great stress, isolation and loneliness for elderly loved ones. Be sure to stay in touch with your elderly loved ones and get them involved with activities and festivities.
Depression in Elderly During COVID-19
While the COVID-19 pandemic has brought new attention to this issue; however, many elderly have had more extreme isolation and distance from family and loved ones. Elderly people felt socially isolated and lonely before the pandemic.
If you’re feeling socially isolated or lonely, and you cannot see your friends and family in person for any reason, try reaching out over the phone or joining a virtual club. Find tips to help you stay more connected.
Alliance Senior Care offers a variety of Home Care services which provide care, health care and care for daily living activities and support for family care givers for your elderly loved one.
Home Care Services are an excellent resource for family caregivers and seniors alike.
Home Care services offer a wide range of services providing healthcare, daily living assistance, transportation to and from Doctor’s appointments and tailored care services for additional circumstances.