Seniors and Depression

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Statistics show that depression in seniors is common; however, it is not a normal part of aging and should not be treated as such.   Many of the challenges seniors go through in the later stages of their life including the death of love ones, retiring from the workplace, and having one or more serious health problems or disability can result in a person developing depression.  While an estimated 6 million adults age 65 years and older have late-life depression, only 10% of those affected are treated for it.

Experts say there are several reasons why depression goes untreated in the elderly including the fact that symptoms are displayed differently from those in younger people. For example many seniors do show signs of sadness, the most common symptom of depression, and many are unwilling to share their feelings with anyone.  Seniors with depression often complain of feeling tired, have trouble sleeping and may be grumpy and irritable. Depression can even cause symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s such as confusion and attention problems.  

In some cases symptoms of depression are misdiagnosed as being the result of medical conditions and/or from the side effects of medicines they take to treat the conditions.  The National Institute on Aging says depression can “co-occur with other serious medical illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and Parkinson’s disease.” Furthermore they explain that depression can make these conditions worse and treating the depression can help older adults better manage their other health conditions.  

If you think you have depression or that a loved one is suffering from the condition, you need to schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider.  It can be treated but your doctor needs to rule out other medical conditions that may be causing the depression. Typical treatment for depression includes medication and psychotherapy.

MorningStar of Santa Fe offers the very best in senior living with our distinct mission statement of “to honor, to serve, to invest.”  Our foundation is built on honoring God, valuing all seniors and selecting staff with a felt calling to serve to create a true “home” for residents.  Please visit our website to schedule a tour to experience firsthand the finest senior living in Santa Fe, NM.

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