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Watching - isolated depressed for blog

As 2015 draws to a close, I first want to say thank you to our extended CareLinx family — employees, caregivers, families and business partners alike — and thank them for being such a significant part of our incredible growth and success. I wish everyone the very best this holiday season. Make no room for holiday blues!

Unfortunately, the sad reality is that the holidays can be difficult for some of us, particularly when friends and loved ones live far away or have passed. Feelings of loneliness and depression can get magnified this time of year, making the so-called “holiday blues” settle in rather quickly.

With that in mind, I’m asking everyone to keep a closer eye on those around us and in our care, particularly those who are a bit isolated from family and friends, and to watch for signs of sadness, loneliness, and depression. For a number of our seniors, you may be the person best  positioned to notice if something seems “off” as you see him or her more frequently than others in their social circle.

AARP has a wealth of information on senior depression, and offers the warning signs below. Their experts say that someone might be clinically depressed if they exhibit five or more of these symptoms, particularly if the continue over a two-week time span:

  • A persistent sad, anxious or empty mood
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions
  • Reduced appetite or weight loss or increased appetite and weight gain
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that once brought pleasure
  • Restlessness or irritability
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, including headaches, chronic headaches, constipation or other digestive disorders
  • Feeling guilty, hopeless or worthless
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

If you are concerned that the person in your care may be struggling with sadness or depression, talk with them. Sometimes it’s something specific that is triggering their feelings and just talking about it can help. Be sure, however, to also share your concerns with their family. They’re counting on us to act as their unofficial eyes and ears, and need our help to keep their loved one safe and content at home.

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