Elderly Depression

Posted on

Aug 03, 2016

Share This




Depression in the elderly is common, but that does not mean its a normal part of aging.

Seniors are expected to slow down, so the signs of depression may get missed, delaying effective treatment and forcing many to struggle unnecessarily for years.

Understanding Depression

There are many changes later in life that could lead to depression, including loss of independence, death of friends of relatives, financial concerns, medical issues or moving away from home and family.

Depression prevents people from enjoying life, but it affects more than mood. It also impacts a persons energy, appetite, sleep and physical health. Depression is a serious condition, and those suffering from it cant just snap out of it. Its a medical problem, and it requires medical treatment.

Recognizing Symptoms

Depression and sadness may seem to go hand and hand, but many depressed seniors claim not to feel sad at all. Instead, they complain of low motivation, a lack of energy or physical problems. The following are common symptoms of depression in the elderly:

Unexplained or aggravated aches and pains
Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness
Anxiety and worries
Memory problems
Lack of motivation and energy
Slowed movement and speech
Irritability
Loss of interest in socializing and hobbies
Neglecting personal care (meals, meds, hygiene)

Caring for Those with Depression

Depression is a highly treatable medical condition. If your loved one shows any of the symptoms listed above, take him or her to see a primary care physician for a complete physical checkup. The physician may refer the patient to a psychiatrist to evaluate if treatment is needed to reduce symptoms, improve functioning and enhance well-being.

Specialized care for adults and seniors with behavioral health issues provided in either a hospital or outpatient setting can assist with treatment and help with long-term healing. Behavioral health services can improve the quality of life for someone you know or love.

This article was submitted by Brooke Pedroza, Community Liaison Director at Oceans Behavioral Hospital Plano. She may be reached at 972-596-5445 or email bpedroza@oceanshealthcare.com.





Other Articles You May Like

Loneliness in the Golden Years: Finding Joy Through Connection

As you navigate the golden years of your life, one of the greatest challenges you may face is loneliness. It's a silent epidemic that can have profound impacts on your physical and emotional well-being. However, the solution lies in the power of connection a lifeline that can uplift your spirits and enrich your daily experiences.In the past, statistics painted a concerning picture: over 40% of older adults reported feeling lonely, with nearly a third of those over 65 living alone. While these numbers are alarming, it's important to understand the distinction between being alone and being lonely. Proximity alone does not equate to true connection. Genuine connections happen when you share mutual interests, respect, and a genuine bond with others.The consequences of loneliness can be severe, with numerous studies demonstrating that its negative health effects are equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Loneliness can weaken your immune system, increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, depression, and many other health conditions. It's a silent threat that should not be underestimated.Fortunately, the healthcare community has recognized the critical role of social determinants in overall health, with isolation being a crucial indicator of an older adult's well-being. And while in-person connections and the warmth of human touch are undoubtedly beneficial, even a phone call, video chat, or a heartfelt card or letter can help maintain those all-important connections.Throughout history, communities have rallied in times of need, and now, more than ever, this spirit of collective care is crucial. Naborforce's vision is rooted in this philosophy, with a network of compassionate Nabors driven by a common desire to support older adults in their communities.It's okay to ask for help. Leaning on Nabors for companionship, even for a few hours here and there, can make a profound difference in your life. Our Nabors are not just caregivers; they are friends who can bring joy, laughter, and a sense of belonging into your daily routine.Moreover, the reciprocity of connection goes both ways. Our Nabors reap just as many benefits as you; they are enriched by both giving and receiving within the community ecosystem. So, harness the strength of community and let our team of experienced, caring Nabors support you on this journey.Remember, you are not alone. Loneliness may be a silent struggle, but connection is the antidote that can uplift your spirits and enrich your golden years. Embrace the power of connection, and let Naborforce be your partner in fostering a vibrant, fulfilling life.Naborforce

The Sandwich Generation: Navigating the Caregiving Crunch

In today's rapidly evolving landscape, the "Sandwich Generation" individuals aged 45-54 who find themselves balancing the demands of growing children and aging parents face unprecedented levels of stress. When you factor in the complexities of distance between relatives, divorce, familial discord, and the lingering effects of global challenges, the pressure only intensifies.If you find yourself caught in this generational in-between space, you understand the immense strain it can place on your well-being. However, taking a step back and examining the macro trends can provide valuable perspective and highlight the urgency of addressing this issue:Every single day, 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65, a trend that will continue for the next decade.The number of seniors over 80 is projected to triple in the next three decades.An overwhelming 9 out of 10 seniors express a desire to age in their homes, with family traditionally serving as the first line of support.However, the dynamics of modern families are shifting. A decade ago, there were eight family members for every senior over 80. In the coming decades, that number is expected to dwindle to just three. Furthermore, many of those family members who may seem available to help may have moved away or still have children at home, further compounding the caregiving challenge.It doesn't take a mathematician to recognize the impending strain on caregiving resources. The question then becomes: What's the solution? While there is no one-size-fits-all answer, one trend that has emerged is a return to community-based support systems, where members come together to assist one another.Throughout history, communities have rallied in times of need, and now, more than ever, this spirit of collective care is crucial. Naborforce's vision is rooted in this philosophy, with a network of compassionate Nabors driven by a common desire to support the older adults in their communities.It's okay to ask for help. Leaning on Nabors for backup, even for a few hours here and there, can make a profound difference not just by bringing joy to your parents, but also by reducing your own stress levels.Moreover, the reciprocity of connection goes both ways. Our Nabors reap just as many benefits as you and your parents; they are enriched by both giving and receiving within the community ecosystem. So, harness the strength of community and let our team of experienced, caring Nabors support you and your loved ones on this caregiving journey.

The Profound Impact of Kindness: A Catalyst for Longevity and Well-Being

As we navigate the golden years of life, the pursuit of longevity often takes center stage. While a balanced diet, regular exercise, and preventive healthcare are undoubtedly crucial, there is one often-overlooked factor that can profoundly impact our well-being and lifespan: kindness.Recent years have highlighted the importance of human connection and the power of compassion, reminding us that we are inherently social beings. For older adults and senior citizens, cultivating kindness can be a potent antidote to the challenges that may arise, such as social isolation, loneliness, and declining mental and physical health.The science behind the longevity-boosting effects of kindness is compelling. Numerous studies have shown that engaging in acts of kindness and volunteering can lower blood pressure, reduce stress levels, and decrease inflammation all of which are key contributors to various age-related health issues, including heart disease, stroke, and cognitive decline.Moreover, the emotional benefits of kindness cannot be overstated. When we extend kindness to others, our brains release a cocktail of feel-good hormones, such as oxytocin and serotonin, which can alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety, common challenges faced by many older adults.But kindness is not a one-way street; its benefits extend far beyond the recipient. Research has revealed that individuals who regularly engage in acts of kindness and volunteerism experience a heightened sense of purpose, increased self-esteem, and a stronger social support network all of which are crucial for maintaining overall well-being and resilience in the later stages of life.For senior citizens, the opportunities to practice kindness are abundant. Whether it's volunteering at a local community center, offering a listening ear to a neighbor in need, or simply extending a warm smile to a stranger, these small acts can have a profound impact on both the giver and the receiver.Furthermore, the beauty of kindness lies in its accessibility. Even those with limited mobility or resources can find ways to spread kindness, such as writing encouraging notes, making phone calls to loved ones, or simply offering words of wisdom and support to those around them.In a world that often prioritizes individual success and material wealth, the power of kindness serves as a gentle reminder that true fulfillment and longevity lie in our connections with others and our ability to make a positive impact on the world around us.So, as we navigate the golden years, let us embrace kindness as a way of life, for it is not only a key to longevity but also a path to a life well-lived, filled with purpose, joy, and meaningful connections.