Signs of Depression to Watch for in the Elderly

Signs of Depression to Watch for in the Elderly

For seniors who live alone, experience a living change, or are mourning the loss of friends, depression can onset quickly and often goes unnoticed. Look for the following symptoms of depression in your senior loved one so you can to take action.

Lack of Appetite

Elderly may appear to have lost their desire to eat and push or pick at food on the plate. Loss of weight can occur quickly or over a period of time.

Ask your senior care specialist to keep track of everything your loved one eats and drinks so you can closely monitor his calorie and liquid intake to prevent dehydration.


Your elder may have a general lack of energy and everything appears to take a lot of energy. Socializing is the last thing on the mind, and your elder wants to be left alone. Hobbies, TV shows, and company of friends often lose its excitement and need. Your loved one may suffer from feelings of hopelessness or sadness.

Make sure that your elder is receiving enough vitamin D, especially in the wintertime. Create activates to get outside in the sun even for 5-10 minutes. Ask your senior care doctor if there are supplements to provide nutrients that the elderly often are lacking.


Your loved one may spend more time sleeping and appear drowsy or have a lack of focus when awake.

Request that your in-home care team document how much time your senior spends in bed and how much of that time is spent sleeping.


On the flip side, depression in the elderly may cause trouble sleeping. Your loved one may be very tired but unable to fall asleep. A doctor should be able to prescribe a mild sleep agent if this is the case.

Memory Loss

An elderly person who is suffering from depression may experience some memory loss. Elderly may become extremely forgetful and lose track of their possessions and time.


Depression can be a serious matter, especially in elderly individuals. They may have lost their will to live, be grieving over recent losses, or seem to have no apparent reason for feeling the way they do. There are many reasons an elderly person may be depressed. Sometimes it is even caused by medications or physical ailments such as lupus or cancer. It is important to get professional help for your loved one before symptoms worsen.