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Depression in Seniors

Depression is a common problem in seniors, but it is rarely diagnosed. Even though those over the age of 65 account for 16 to 25 percent of all suicides in the country, there is very little treatment or services geared towards seniors. How can you make sure your aging parent isn’t in danger?

Some Common Causes of Senior Depression

    Adapting to a move from home to an apartment or retirement facility.

    Chronic pain.

    Feelings of isolation or loneliness as children move away and their spouse and close friends die.

    Loss of independence (problems getting around, caring for themselves, driving).

    Health problems.

    Struggles with memory loss and problems thinking clearly.

What are some of the Symptoms of Senior Depression?

    You notice your loved one is more confused or forgetful.

    They may begin eating less. The refrigerator may be empty or contain spoiled food.

     Losing interest in personal hygiene is a common sign of senior depression. Visitors may notice smells of urine or stool. Clothes may be dirty and wrinkled.

    Neglecting care of the home.

    Stopping medicines or not taking them correctly.

    Not talking as much, and not answering the phone or returning phone calls can mean your loved is withdrawing from others. This can be a dangerous tendency, one that can create a self-perpetuating cycle of depression.

Depression in later life frequently coexists with other medical illnesses and disabilities. Make sure to keep an eye out for these signs. When neglected, depression can go deep, and be even harder to treat. But seniors can be helped when loved ones take the time to care as well as making sure they are evaluated by a medical professional, even if the depression is mild. Psychiatrist doctors help with the treatment of depression in the elderly.

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