Depression in the elderly is a common problem, with approximately 6 million people and counting suffering from the often debilitating disease. And while there are a number of causes for depression in the elderly, one of the most common ones is seasonal depression. While everyone else is rushing around, preparing for the holidays, elderly individuals often feel left out and lonely, which can trigger depressive episodes. It is important to recognize the signs of depression as well as understand what you can do to prevent it in the lives of your aging loved ones.

 

Signs of Depression

Persistent sadness is one of the most common signs of depression, but is certainly not the only one. Frequent tearfulness can clue you in to the existence of depression, but so can insomnia, lack of appetite, unexplained weight loss and changes in personality.

 

Ways to Prevent Depression.

One of the easiest ways to keep your elderly loved ones from becoming depressed is to include them in your plans. Give them the opportunity to participate in planning holiday events as well as attending them. Encourage them to reminisce about holidays’ past. And make sure you schedule in plenty of downtime to allow your loved one to rest and recover from the hectic holiday schedules.