4 Signs Your Elderly Mother is Depressed

Written by Brian Wallace

Do you have an elderly mother who hasn’t quite seemed like herself lately? Are you starting to worry that the signs she’s been displaying may signal something more serious going on? Depression in elderly people is more common than you may think, and some signs and symptoms can act as red flags. Family members need to be aware of the signs so that they can help their parents get professional help if necessary.

Here’s a look at four signs your elderly mother is depressed and that it’s time for you to step in.

Irritability, Anger and Mood Changes

One of the first signs you may start to notice is a change in their mood. Your parent may become irritable and/or quick to anger and go through sudden mood changes without an apparent reason. It can make it difficult to gauge how they are feeling or what their emotional state may be day-to-day. It’s okay to have a bad day here and there, but if these mood changes are out of character and don’t seem to get better, there is cause for concern.

Your Parent Seems Withdrawn

Another common sign is that they become withdrawn. They may pull away from social events, not engage with friends, and turn down invitations to visit with family. Again, this is normal if it’s only once in a while, but when it starts to become a habit, it could be the early signs of depression.

Their Appetite Can Change

Here’s a symptom that people aren’t always on the lookout for but can be a red flag as well. If their appetite suddenly changes and they eat more or less than normal, you’ll want to pay closer attention. Overeating and weight gain can be just as common as not eating when depressed.

A Variety of Other Symptoms Can Appear

Because each person is unique, their symptoms may not be textbook. And it’s worth noting that symptoms can vary in severity and even come and go. Other common symptoms can be anxiety, a fixation on talking about death, insomnia, fatigue and even increased pain.

It May Be Time to Consider Assisted Living

While depression alone isn’t a reason for your parent to move to an assisted living facility, it can be one of the contributing factors. This could be a sign that it’s time to look into what these communities offer and how they could benefit your mother’s mental and physical well-being. 

Daily tasks and chores will no longer be something your parent needs to worry about when you look at this assisted living in Holladay facility, and that’s the norm with these facilities. Assisted living facilities still give seniors a sense of independence and space but without all the stress of caring for a home. These facilities do a great job of providing a sense of community thanks to the many activities and events they have for residents. Your mother can work on building a social circle with other seniors and have companionship whenever she wants.

If your parent is displaying any of these signs, you don’t want to turn a blind eye. Depression can be incredibly serious and needs to be addressed.