Recognizing Depression in Elders

Elder Care Service
Elder Care Service

Recognizing Depression in Elders

23 Jun 2022

Depression is a disorder that affects the way you feel, behave, act, and think. It is a very common problem that has lead to a lot of brooding and thought amongst all generations as it is related not only to our seniors but to all age groups.

The more common types of depression that our seniors and older adults experience are:

  • Major Depressive Disorder

  • Persistent Depressive Disorder

  • Substance/Medication-Induced Depressive Disorder

  • Depressive Disorder Due to A Medical Condition

  • Psychotic depression

  • Seasonal Affective Disorder

 Reasons For Depression

Reasons for depression can be changes in the brain and mood, excessive stress, or a medical diagnosis, or death of a loved one. Most common reasons are:

  • Medical conditions such as cancer, stroke, paralysis etc

  • Family history of depression

  • Stress

  • Sleeping problems

  • Loneliness

  • Addiction and/or alcoholism

  • Social isolation

Signs and symptoms to look out for

Below is a list of the common signs and symptoms that can be seen in depressed individuals:

  • Persistent sadness and anxiety

  • Feel hopeless, worthless, or helpless

  • Being Irritable and restless

  • Loss of interest in activities

  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering

  • Sleep difficulty

  • Too much or too less eating

  • Thoughts of death or suicide

 Ways to combat depression at home

  • Support friends and family

  • Seek medical treatment with a psychiatrist or psychologist.

  • Do activities that you enjoy doing

  • Engage in physical activity to boost mood

Common treatment methods include:

  • Psychotherapy

  • Counseling

  • Medications

  • Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)

  • Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (RTMS)

The best way to manage depression in older adults and seniors, if it is caused by loneliness and isolation, would be to get a companion for them (a caregiver) who will not only support and be with them to cut through their loneliness, but also will look after their healthcare and daily needs.

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