As adults, we all have periods in life that are stressful. When we reach our senior years, the hope is that we may be able to relax and enjoy our retirement with few worries. Unfortunately, for millions of seniors, depression, and anxiety is a real issue and is robbing them of the peace and tranquility that they have looked forward to.
There are several contributing factors to the rising number of seniors that are struggling with depression and anxiety. The issues are different for everyone but, there are some common symptoms that family members should be aware of such as changing sleep habits, loss of appetite, fatigue, and feelings of restlessness.
For many seniors, their retirement has not lived up to what they had planned. Financial issues from a lack of pension planning, having to care for a sick spouse, grief, and a loss of independence are real problems that are causing our seniors a lot of worry. With millions of Baby Boomers reaching their retirement years it is on the shoulders of the younger generations to help wherever they can. Let’s take a look at some of the factors that are making seniors one of the largest populations struggling with depression and anxiety.
Millions of seniors were getting ready to start enjoying their retirements when the economy crashed in 2008. As a result, people lost their life savings, tanked on their investments and even lost their company supported pension savings. This devastating blow has changed the landscape of retirement for many people.
One of the most common stressors in life is money. Seniors are no different. In fact, they have additional concerns about how they will take care of themselves financially as they age. Medical costs, in-home care, and housing can all be very expensive for seniors.
No one is exempt from grief. Eventually, each of us will experience a devastating loss. The grief of losing a lifetime partner or spouse can be emotionally devastating and make it difficult to have any enthusiasm about facing life on their own.
For seniors that have lost their spouses, the loss is just one part of the struggle. Loneliness and fear of living alone are both common causes of clinical depression and anxiety.
Loss of Independence
There is nowhere like home, and the thought of possibly having to leave their homes is a big source of anxiety for many seniors. Older adults that are at risk of falling or are having trouble managing an illness on their own may have to face moving out of their homes where they are the most comfortable. Not all seniors end up in a retirement facility but, even those that end up living with the family claim that leaving their home is extremely difficult.
If you are concerned that a senior in your life is struggling with depression or anxiety it can be a difficult subject to broach. Talk to them about the source of their worries and try to manage the problem with as little disruption as possible. Taking care of our senior population is everyone’s job. Talk to your doctor or a counsellor today about how you can help.