As our loved ones age, it’s natural for some changes to occur. Regular forgetfulness is one thing, however; persistent memory loss or cognitive impairment is another thing and potentially serious. The same goes for extreme anxiety or long-term depression. Caregivers should keep an eye out for the following warning signs, which could indicate a mental health concern:
- Sad or depressed mood lasting longer than two weeks
- Social withdrawal; loss of interest in things that used to be enjoyable
- Unexplained fatigue, energy loss, or sleep changes
- Confusion, disorientation, problems with concentration or decision-making
- Increase or decrease in appetite; changes in weight
- Memory loss, especially recent or short-term memory problems
- Feelings of worthlessness, inappropriate guilt, helplessness; thoughts of suicide
- Physical problems that can’t otherwise be explained: aches, constipation, etc.
- Changes in appearance or dress, or problems maintaining the home or yard
- Trouble handling finances or working with numbers
Don’t hesitate to seek help if you or a loved one is experiencing any of the symptoms above. At all ages and stages of your life, having someone to talk to is important. If you are feeling sad, alone or depressed, we are here for you.