Depression is more common among older adults than many people think.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), seniors are at greater risk for developing depression for a couple of reasons.
First, people who have a chronic health condition are more likely to be depressed. Approximately 80 percent of older adults have at least one chronic health condition.
Second, it can be harder to spot the signs of depression in seniors because they can be mistaken for symptoms of other conditions or natural results of changes in their lives. As a result, depression in seniors is often undiagnosed.
As a family caregiver to an older adult, it’s important to be educated about depression and the symptoms you may see in your aging relative. Since October is National Depression Education & Awareness Month, it’s the perfect opportunity to learn more about this important issue.
Doctors may refer to depression as “major depressive disorder” or “clinical depression.” It’s a serious condition that affects mood. It changes the way a person thinks, how they feel, and interferes with their life, making it hard to sleep, eat, or participate in activities.
To be diagnosed with depression, symptoms must be present for at least two weeks. Once it is diagnosed, the condition can be treated. Doctors may prescribe antidepressant drugs or psychotherapy. Often, they recommend both.
Symptoms of Depression
Depression can present itself in different ways, but there are some common symptoms you can watch for. Some symptoms of depression are:
If you notice signs of depression in your aging relative, report them to a doctor. If the person appears to be in crisis, call 9-1-1 for emergency help or take them to an emergency room.
You can also get help by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.
If your aging relative has been diagnosed with depression, senior care can help. Senior care providers can remind older adults to take medications prescribed by the doctor. Also, a senior care provider is a friendly, supportive person whose presence may help to boost the older adult’s mood. If the senior is attending psychotherapy, a senior care provider can offer them transportation to their appointments.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Elder Care in Pelham, AL, please contact the caring staff at Senior Legacy Care today. Call us at (205) 380-7418.
Susan Smith, Owner
Susan Smith is the owner of Senior Legacy, an independent non-medical senior in home care business.... Read More...