health and wellness, major depressive disorder family and friends, Treatment for depression

Depression and seniors

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Why do elderly people get depressed?

 Depression is no respecter of age; it is diagnosed in teens, younger children, adults who are in mid-life and in the elderly. It is well noted that sickness and depression go together, not that all elderly people are sick, but many have chronic illnesses. When older adults experience depression and a painful illness, they can be apt to isolate themselves. If you know someone like this, you might want to consider checking in on them and spending quality time together.

Older people become widows and widowers that causes grief which has similar symptoms to clinical depression . Doctors are urged not to diagnose people with depression when they are grieving. Retirement can also cause major depressive disorder to occur in older adults. It is important to know the signs to help yourself or a loved one who is in despair from depression.

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Signs and symptoms of depression to look for

If you suspect that your elderly friend or loved one is suffering from depression, educate yourself about the signs and symptoms so you can help them before it gets worse. Signs and symptoms include:

  • fatigue
  • body aches
  • change in appetite
  • feelings of despair
  • isolation
  • troubles with sleep (too much or too little)
  • forgetfulness
  • slow body movements
  • lack of hygiene
  • low self esteem
  • suicidal thoughts

You don’t have to care for the depressed person on your own. Find help in the community in places such as: your family doctor, church, family and friends and community groups dedicated to help people with depression.

Retirement and depression

For some, retirement is a phase in life that is rewarding and fulfilling. For others, it is a time of loss and emptiness. The good news is that there are ways to prevent and cope with this time which can be embarrassing for some people, but it is important to talk about it. It is just as important as planning your financial future. A few ways that retirees find helpful to alleviate boredom and depression includes:

  • ​volunteer work
  • engaging more actively in hobbies
  • stay active by walking, playing sports, swimming
  • get social play cards, bingo, bus trips
  • spend more time with your grandchildren
  • self-employment
  • part-time work

    ​It is important to note that these activities may not be suitable for everyone. Do what you like and explore new activities to keep engaged and fulfilled. Many retirees are happy immediately after retiring but years later become depressed. Plan so your needs are met later on.

    Chronic illness and depression

    There is a correlation between chronic illness and depression that needs to be known for assessing whether to get help for an elderly person who displays signs and symptoms. A high percentage of people with a chronic illness experience this double trouble that hinders important areas of one’s lifestyle. It is difficult to cope with not being fully abled and living the life they desire due to the disabling conditions that lead to depression.

    ​Research shows that chronic medical conditions with depression have a high prevalence rate. These conditions include multiple sclerosis, heart attack, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease. Stay educated about depression to nip it in the bud early. Some mistake the pain and sadness to the chronic condition, but it can be depression that needs to be treated differently than the major condition. Talk to a doctor about the symptoms and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

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