-Significant weight loss or weight gain
-Significant decrease in appetite
-Changes in sleeping habits (such as sleeping much more or much less than normal)
-Pessimism or feelings of hopelessness
-Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable
-Unexplained aches, pains, or stomach upsets
-Difficulty concentrating, fatigue
Lack of exercise and isolation contribute significantly to depression in older adults. Some of the best ways to prevent depression in older adults is to encourage exercise and socializing. In fact, a recent study from the University of Michigan showed that older adults who enjoy regular in-person visits from their family members are half as likely to develop depression. Also, a study by Duke University revealed that exercising three times a week could be more effective than medication in treating depression in the elderly. Take a proactive approach in preventing depression in your loved one by visiting them often and encouraging them to take frequent walks.