Depressive symptoms make it harder for older adults to perform their regular daily activities. Research published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that regardless of living circumstances or marital status, depressive symptoms affect older adults' abilities to perform daily activities.
Symptoms of depression are common among older adults. Signs of depressive symptoms include:
- Loss of interest in self-care and/or following medical advice
- Little interest in social activities
- Feeling "empty" inside
- Trouble sleeping and/or feeling anxious
- Trouble concentrating or remembering things
- Unexplained aches and pains
- Change in appetite and weight
- Feelings of helplessness
- Feeling that one is a burden
The researchers examined information from older adults who could function well at the start of the study. Then the researchers noted any depressive symptoms among the participants. At the end of the 7.5-year-long study, the researchers learned that 30 percent of the participants had symptoms of depression. They also learned that participants with depression symptoms were more likely to have problems in the future performing their regular daily activities.