So many factors can contribute to depression for your aging family member. When you can pinpoint even a partial potential cause in your senior's case, you may be able to help her to manage her depression more effectively.
Living Alone and Having Little Contact with Others
A downside of aging in place is often that your elderly family member gradually has fewer and fewer opportunities to interact with other people as regularly as she once did. This can lead to isolation and even depression. Hiring elderly care providers can resolve this for a variety of reasons. First, they can offer companionship themselves, but they can also assist from the standpoint of being able to facilitate interactions for your elderly family member.
Major Losses and Grief
Every person experiences grief and loss over the years as friends and family pass away, but it can all add up and get to be too much at some point. Also, loss and grief can show up in other ways and for other reasons. Your family member may grieve the loss of her health or the loss of friendships when friends move away. These various losses can add up and have a cumulative effect.
Chronic pain, disability, and ailments that come and go are all difficult to manage. When your senior sees nothing but declining health and increasing issues with her ability to remain healthy, she may experience depression. This is another form of loss, too, and it can be just as devastating as other losses.
Worry Over Issues Your Senior Can't Control
There's so much about life in these stages that your elderly family member can't control. She may also worry about you and about other family members. She may be concerned about whether she can stay in her own home or not. All of these worries add up and some of them may be extremely valid concerns. Others may not be ones that are as accurate as your senior may believe them to be. What you can do is to reassure her and handle as many of these issues for her as you can.
Your senior's depression can be caused by a combination of issues. One of the best things that you can do for her is to start with her doctor and determine if there are any underlying medical causes that you can rule out or correct. From there, you can tackle other possible solutions.