Tracing the Causes of Depression In the Elderly



Tracing the Causes of Depression In the Elderly

On Monday, we gave you an introduction to elderly depression, discussing the physical effects, suicide rates, and the importance of addressing such issues.

As we mentioned then, depression can be difficult not only on our aging loved ones, but on the rest of the family as well. However, having an understanding of what elderly depression entails can help to ease the pain and suffering of your loved ones, as well as ease the stress it may put on your family.

One way to understand how and why depression occurs is by looking at its causes. To help you get on the right track, today, we’re going to talk about just that. Take a look below:

Physical Causes

As we discussed in our introduction to depression, depression can be more than just mental and this goes for its causes, as well. As we age, health becomes a very important, if not more serious concern, which is why the potential for depression is there when we find our health on the decline. Physical causes may include the following:

    • Chronic or severe pain: The inability to stop pain may frustrate your loved ones because they no longer feel in control of their body.
    • Disabilities/immobility: Like pain, your parent may feel stressed because they are unable be as active as they once were.
    • Change in physical appearance: Whether because of aging, surgery, or a disease, you parent may begin to feel self-conscious about their appearance, which may also lead to depression.
    • Medical conditions: As noted by, medical conditions afflicting the elderly can make a huge impact on their lives. In some instances, the illness may trigger their depression directly, or impact them psychologically. These conditions may include:
      • Parkinsons disease
      • Stroke
      • Heart disease
      • Cancer
      • Diabetes
      • Thyroid disorders
      • Vitamin B12 deficiency
      • Dementia and Alzheimers disease
      • Lupus
      • Multiple sclerosis


Bereavement or Loss (Non-Physical Causes)

To many, the most obvious cause of depression is linked to the loss of a loved one. As we age, the chance of experiencing such losses is likely to increase, which may lead an elderly person to have a less than optimistic outlook surrounding their loneliness or inability to prevent such losses.

So what exactly is the root of the problem?

As you were reading this, you may have noticed that your loved one is afflicted by a number of the things we have listed above. Unfortunately, there can be a number of causes that may lead one to depression, making it much more difficult to trace.

This small guide, however, may help you understand the serious of the situation, as well make you more sympathetic to your parents circumstance. It is important to remember that depression is more than just a simple problem that can be fixed understanding how complicated the situation can be is one of the key steps to help your parents through such a journey, so please make an effort to be more sympathetic towards them.

At Encompass, we strive to ensure the best quality of life through all stages of the aging process, and that means going through the good and the bad with you. If you are concerned about your loved ones well being or have any questions, please feel free to give Encompass a call. We are here to help.

Physicians’ Choice Private Duty Assisted Living currently serving Omaha, Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of geriatric care options and helps families maneuver through the challenges of the system. Get your free Cost Comparison guide by clicking here. Or contact us for a free consultation or just to say hello!

photo credit: remove via photopin cc

“Physicians’ Choice Private Duty Assisted Living solves the challenges families face in caring for aging parents, with a focus on strategies that keep them in their homes. To learn more about our solutions, visit”