It’s not that we don’t want to believe our parents and grandparents when they tell us about their depression and anxiety, but it can be hard to take them seriously. After all, these are people who have lived through the Great Depression, two World Wars, the Cold War… why would they be depressed? But as we grow older ourselves, we realize how much stress there is in this world. We may also find out that a parent or grandparent has been dealing with depression or anxiety for quite some time now. So what should you do if you’re trying to help someone deal with these issues?

Depression and anxiety in the elderly can be tough because other health problems often accompany them. For example, someone dealing with depression may not have the energy to take care of themselves properly, which can lead to physical health problems. Anxiety can also make it difficult for older adults to socialize, leading to isolation. If your parent or grandparent is dealing with depression, it can be tough to see them go through this alone.

You may not think that you have the power to help someone suffering from depression and anxiety in their old age, but there are some things you can do: First of all, don’t ignore what they’re telling you. Listen to them and try to understand what they’re going through. Show them that you care about them, and let them know that you’re there for them if they need anything. Encourage them to seek professional help if necessary, and offer to go with them to their appointments.

Most importantly, don’t give up on them. You may not be able to solve the problem, but you can help them deal with it. Healthcreeds notes that some signs can be hidden so make sure to be really observant.

What are some Signs of Depression in the Elderly?

-Lack of energy or motivation

-Feeling hopeless or helpless

-Having trouble concentrating or making decisions

-Sleeping too much or too little

-Eating more or less than usual

-Withdrawing from friends and family members

-Expressing feelings of worthlessness or guilt

-Thoughts of suicide or death.

What are some Signs of Anxiety in the Elderly?

-Feeling restless or tense

-Having trouble sleeping

-Feeling like you’re constantly on edge

-Chest pain or rapid heartbeat

-Nausea, diarrhea, or other gastrointestinal problems

-Tremors or shaking hands

-Sweating excessively

-Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

-Irritability, restlessness, and pacing.

It’s important to talk to your loved ones about their depression and anxiety. Don’t be afraid that they’ll get upset with you for bringing it up; chances are, they’re already dealing with these feelings on a daily basis.

Treating Depression in the Elderly

-Medication: If your loved one is suffering from depression and taking medication, follow their doctor’s instructions on how to properly administer these medications.

-Counseling/Therapy: Counseling may be an option for someone who suffers from anxiety or depression, especially if they have a hard time talking about things with others. You can find a counselor in your area by contacting the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).

-Support Groups: These are also an option for someone who is going through depression or anxiety. It can be helpful to meet with others who have similar issues and talk about their experiences, especially when it comes to coping strategies.

If you think that your loved one is suffering from depression or anxiety, it’s important to talk with them. Show that you care and offer to help if possible.

-If they’re interested in medication: Help them find the right dosage and schedule for their symptoms without interfering with any other medications they may be taking.

-If they are not interested in medication: Offer to accompany them on their first visit with a therapist or support group. It can help your loved one open up if they see that you’re there for support.

-If they don’t want counseling/support groups: Showing an interest in what’s going on, and offering to listen without judgment is all anyone needs sometimes.

-If they want to keep it a secret: It may be hard, but you can’t force someone into counseling or support groups. However, if your loved one is considering suicide and won’t listen to reason from anyone else, do not hesitate to call 911 immediately. You should also contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at (800) 273-TALK (800) 273-8225.

Depression and anxiety can be difficult to deal with, but it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. There are plenty of resources available to help both you and your loved ones. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you need it. For more information, please visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.