The Common Symptoms of Depression

By Elizabeth Stolte, Care Navigation Team Social Worker

Our loved ones will face many challenges as they begin to age. Certain conditions may cause your loved one to have physical ailments that hinder their ability to do activities they usually enjoy. These physical ailments may also require more dependence on others to assist them in completing activities of daily living.

Being unable to care for oneself independently can often make one feel like a burden to those around them. Losing independence at any point in life and feeling like a burden can harm mental health.


At this point, most will have retired from their jobs and may also begin to feel socially isolated. According to the U. S. Census, nearly one-third of seniors live alone. These factors can cause our loved ones to experience chronic feelings of loneliness, social isolation, and lack of independence which can lead to depression.


The following is a list of some common symptoms of depression:

  • Persistent feeling of sadness

  • Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, and helplessness

  • Irritability, restlessness

  • Loss of interest in usual activities

  • Decreased energy

  • Fatigue

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • Eating more or less than usual

  • Thoughts of death or suicide


It is essential to be mindful of our loved one’s mental health as they age. Depression, even severe depression, can be treated. It is important to seek treatment if you notice signs of depression. If you notice any of the above symptoms with your loved one, please talk to their health care provider.


Note: The VirtuALZ blog (FYI) is strictly a news and information website about Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias and life over 60. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The VirtuALZ Blog (FYI) is intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Alzheimer’s disease