Though depression is common among the elderly, it is not a common part of ageing. It is a serious disorder that needs treatment. As a caregiver, you must recognise the symptoms of depression and intervene before the condition worsens. Here are some symptoms associated with depression – recognising these symptoms help you seek medical help for the residents at your care homes:
Change in sleeping patterns: Insomnia and depression often go hand-in-hand. Many people, especially the elderly, suffering from depression experience a change in sleeping pattern. Either they sleep too much or they have trouble falling asleep. Those with insomnia are more likely to develop depression. As a caregiver, if you notice a sudden change in sleeping pattern, you must make a note of it.
Fatigue and tiredness: As a caregiving staff, if you notice that the resident concerned is always tired and can’t complete their everyday tasks, it may be a sign that he or she is depressed. It is normal for the residents to feel a bit low once in a while, but if you notice that fatigue is affecting their daily lives, then medical help must be sought.
Sudden weight gain or weight loss: Some people battling depression overeat and gain weight, using food to comfort themselves. Others lose their appetite resulting in sudden weight loss. A caregiver must consider meeting with a nutritionist to create simple and balanced meal plans for the residents so that they can break the cycle of overeating or not eating. If a resident is showing signs of depression and it’s affecting their day-today activities, a primary care doctor or a mental health professional should be consulted.
Skipping social activities: Avoiding social contact is one of the most common signs of depression. If a resident is skipping activities he or she normally enjoys, caregiving staff should pay attention to it. Social isolation can further worsen depression. Doing activities such as going for a walk, playing or listening to music can help the residents lift their moods. Moving into a care home can be a major step for some people, and it’s crucial for caregiving staff to remain vigilant for signs of depression.
Caregiving staff at care homes that have implemented eMAR, an electronic medication system, have more time on hand to give the residents the personal attention they need. By automating the medical administration process, care homes not only reduce the workload of caregiving staff but they also improve the operational efficiency. The electronic medication administration record can be used on tablets and Android smartphones. To book an eMAR demo, call us today.