When you first realize that your aging family member is depressed, you might wonder why it took so long to narrow down what was going on with her. You might even worry that your elderly family member deliberately kept you in the dark. While she might have been concerned about burdening you with this kind of information, she’s probably not trying to mislead you on purpose.
She May Think it’s a Normal Part of Aging.
Many people, and possibly your elderly family member, may believe that depression and its associated symptoms are a normal part of the aging process. This doesn’t have to be the case, however. Your senior doesn’t have to put up with the effects of depression simply because she’s growing older.
She May not Feel as if She Has Anyone She Can Tell.
Isolation is an extremely common reason for depression among older adults. It can leave your elderly family member feeling more alone than she actually is and she may not feel as if she has anyone she can talk to. Even if she sees you every day, she may feel as if you have enough happening and she doesn’t want to burden you.
She Doesn’t Feel Right Talking about Depression.
Many aging adults were raised at a time in which talking about depression and other similar issues just wasn’t done. This can leave your elderly family member feeling uncomfortable talking about what she’s feeling and experiencing. As a result, she keeps quiet about her depression because it’s not comfortable for her to do otherwise.
She Doesn’t Realize that She Is Depressed.
It’s also possible that your aging adult doesn’t even realize that she’s depressed. All too often, depression in older adults can be masked by other health issues and concerns. The symptoms are slightly different for aging adults, which can leave your elderly family member confused about whether she really is experiencing depression or something else.
For some aging adults, having someone else around, such as elderly care providers, can help them to get more in touch with what is happening. It also gives you someone else who can help you help your senior.