Quarantine is a stressful situation that can bring changes in behavior and trigger depression in the elderly. Learn how to identify the signs.
The elderly have been the sector of the population most affected by COVID-19 for several reasons, including their weakened immune systems and the forced social isolation that has kept them at home for the last three months. Due to this last reason, says Medline Plus, it is very important to pay special attention to this vulnerable population not only in order to care for their physical health, but also to keep them from developing mental illnesses like depression.
Risk is higher among the elderly, especially those older than 80 years old who suffer from neurodegenerative diseases like dementia, and according to geriatric doctor Iván Camilo David Ramos, it manifests in behavioral changes like irritability and sudden mood swings. According to the specialist, there are other warning signs that must also be kept in mind in order to address a possible case of depression in time, such as:
- Wanting to spend all day in bed
- Lack of appetite during everyday meals
- Lack of interest in activities
- Inattention to personal hygiene and dressing habits
- Anxiety and stress about everyday situations
Something important that Doctor David Ramos emphasizes is that one must never underestimate the complaints or requests of the elderly, that maintaining daily communication with children and grandchildren is highly beneficial to their mood, and that daily physical activity and encouraging their cognitive development will provide them with emotional security so they can cope with these rough patches.
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