Retirement and Depression: Helping Baby Boomers with Their Mental Health

Updated on April 1, 2020

As people age, mental health can sometimes take a turn for the worse. Unfortunately, those who are of retirement age tend to experience a drastic decrease in their sense of purpose and mental wellbeing, often leading to depression.

But, there are ways to both recognize and alleviate many of the mental health issues associated with Baby Boomers as they age.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about helping someone deal with retirement and depression.

Lack of Motivation

As previously mentioned, having a diminished sense of purpose is common for many elderly people. This feeling on its own can lead many into a deep depression.

This is especially true for Baby Boomers, as many of them were in their mental and physical prime during a time when America was thriving.

An elderly person you are actively caring for may begin to exhibit a lack of motivation, resulting in poor hygiene, sleeping late, and a sudden disinterest in socializing. 

Fixation on Death (Either Their Own or a Loved One’s)

It’s relatively normal for an elderly person to be concerned with dying. But, if you begin to notice that conversations with them always steer toward the topic of death, you may need to be concerned.

Similarly, someone who always seems to talk about the death of a spouse or close friend (especially years later) may be falling into depression.

Unexplained Weight Loss

Depression often results in a drastic decrease in appetite, which can lead to significant weight loss. In general, though, weight loss on its own doesn’t necessarily point to depression. 

Since a large variety of medical ailments can lead to loss of appetite and an unexplained dip in body weight, it’s important that the individual be medically evaluated to rule out more serious issues like cancer or gastrointestinal problems.

If you happen to work as a caregiver, you can visit this resource to learn more about the needs of Baby Boomers at an RCFE.

Poor Financial Management

Most elderly people have a set amount of per year that they’re able to spend from their retirement fund. Depending on how they planned during their younger years, this could be just enough to get by or be enough to afford luxury purchases.

Regardless of how much they’re allotted each year, some people with depression may begin to exhibit erratic financial behavior. They may make exorbitant purchases in order to pull themselves out of a slump or spend irresponsibly on products or services that offer them little to no value.

Since overspending will negatively affect the budget for the rest of their lives, this is risky behavior that often stems from apathy toward living. 

Helping Someone with Retirement and Depression Can Seem Difficult

But it doesn’t have to be.

With the above information about retirement and depression in mind, you’ll be well on your way toward helping those in need as efficiently as possible.

Want to learn more retirement tips that can help you out in the future? Be sure to check out the rest of our blog.

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