Key Signs Your Elderly Parent May Be Mentally Depressed

Relying on parents for times of distress and trouble is a common thing to do throughout a person’s life. After all, your parents are the best people to come to when there are problems and struggles that you just can’t seem to face. However, as time passes by, children do get older and end up with their own family and children to take care of. Sometimes, some see this as the “ending” of a parent’s role for their children, and they are left alone for their own devices. If you do have an elderly parent at home, it’s important to ensure that their mental health is also in check, as getting old can come with its own fair share of things to be aware of. One of the things to be concerned with is if you keep your elderly parent happy and content.

Below are some key signs indicating that your elderly parent may be mentally depressed. Being aware of such signs and symptoms can help you be more proactive and prepare yourself for the things you need to do in order to help them cope with the situation, and hopefully keep them satisfied and happy. It’s important to have your elderly parent checked by a psychologist if there are signs of depression, as the psychologists you may hire are professionals trained to handle such a situation.

Understanding the Signs, What They Mean

When a person talks of depression, they often talk of circumstances that make them feel sad or anxious, and sometimes this feeling can make them distressed or force them to “lose their touch” with life. This is common among older adults, and this can have a profound effect on energy levels, sleep patterns, appetite, and even interest in relationships, hobbies, and work.

  • According to Health, what can be concerning about depression is that it’s not always something that can be recognized by everyone, and even older adults. Sometimes they may know the symptoms, but don’t know how to get the help they need. There are reasons that these factors tend to be overlooked:
    • Sometimes, people may assume depression is a natural part of growing up.
    • When people grow old, the popular assumption is that physical pains are just part of the process, but they may be, in fact, symptoms of depression.
    • Constant isolation may in fact lead to depression, and they may be hesitant to share about their feelings.
  • However, don’t think of depression as a weakness, as it can happen to anyone from any background. In fact, it can happen at any age. This means even if your parents are retired, and even if they’re with your company, they are still very capable of feeling depression.

If you believe your elderly parent may need more help but you’re hesitant to make decisions for them, it may be a good idea to talk with a lawyer or a legal professional such as those here to know the kind of decisions you can make for your parents without intruding on their rights, this is especially if you’re handling their estate. Regardless, there are still ways you can still be able to help your parents, and first of these is identifying key signs your elderly parent may be mentally depressed.


The Signs: Recognizing, Assessing the Signs

Given this reality, it’s important then to be able to remember these signs and check with a professional immediately to be able to see whether or not your elderly parent may actually be mentally depressed.

  • Emotional symptoms such as feelings of despair and sadness, helplessness and hopelessness, loss of worthiness, and a fixation on suicidal thoughts or dying are frequently associated with depression. The latter is in fact something to take particular note of as you may need to make an intervention if these feelings are present.
  • If there’s a loss of interest in their passion, hobbies, and socialization, and you’ve noticed that they’re neglecting to care for themselves by doing things such as not eating, or neglecting hygiene, then your elderly parent may be depressed. It’s important to help them find ways to connect with themselves and discover new things they could invest time and energy in.
  • If your elderly parent has aggravated pains and aches, lack of energy, disturbance in sleep, or slowed movement, these may be linked with depression. This is trickier to spot as these are often associated with old age in itself, so be sure to consult with a professional on this as well.
  • Increased usage or dependency on drugs and alcohol, as well as problems with speech, can also be related to depression.


Being a parent is a great honor, but when parents grow up, it’s time for the children to take care of them. Understanding key signs your elderly parent may be mentally depressed is important to know as it can give you a heads up if you have to make some adjustments regarding the living conditions your parents have, and how you can improve them on their behalf.

Kiren Manning

Kiren is a estate law writer who enjoys writing about subject in relation to real estate and law. He has written for a few blogs in the past, and enjoys sharing his knowledge with those who enjoy reading. In his spare time he enjoys spending quality time with those he loves.