Depression can be considered as a normal part of aging that happens to most of the elderly. Although depression is generally a treatable medical condition and most of the seniors experience generally the times of sadness.
Incidence of depression among elders
According to various research and studies, depression tends to affect about 5-7% of the general population of elders. Out of which nearly 15% of the elder requires healthcare at home whereas 12% of the elder population are hospital patients.
The Elderly often face the risk of not being diagnosed properly and also lack of treatment because their symptoms can be emulated in general as age-related issues. Any other illness, medication routine or lifestyle changes are responsible to overlook the symptoms.
I can also be the situation that elderly people would have been hesitant to talk about how they are feeling in real or on the other hand, it may be possible that they fail to understand the physical symptoms of depression. The elder people who generally live independently or in isolation it becomes even more difficult for them to reach out to anybody for help.
General symptoms of depression in elders
A few of the essential features of recognizing whether you are suffering from depression is when you experience the depressive episode for at least two weeks. This mood can stick around for most of the day and nearly every day along with the loss of interest and pleasure in almost all activities. The other common symptoms of depression in elders include:
- Continuous Sadness
- Slowed Down emotions
- Worrying a lot about finances and health issues
- Frequent feeling to cry
- Getting a regular feeling of worthlessness and helpless
- Change in weight
- Facing difficulty in sleep
- Difficulty in focusing and concentrating
- Unexplained health problems
- Withdrawal from all kind of social activities
Some chronic medical conditions can simply aggravate the symptoms of depression in elder persons. These medical conditions include cancer, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, dementia, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis.
Depression and Medication
Certain medications are linked with depression in elder persons. The medications that can cause depression include chemotherapeutics, cardiovascular drugs, anti-anxiety pills, antipsychotic drugs, sedatives, anti-infective pills. The elder people who experience such symptoms of depression must immediately report it to their prescribing general physician at once.
When the elder suffers from depression, their mental decline is rapid. They can’t even state the correct date and time and face difficulty in concentrating. Their language and motor skills also tend to slow down. They also begin to worry about their memory problems and increasing confusion.
The elderly patients become disoriented with the confusion and also struggle with short-term memory. With time there speaking, writing and language skills also begin to deteriorate.
Treatment of elders suffering from depression
One of the major sources of support for elders can be ongoing talk therapy. Solution-focused therapy can also prove beneficial in helping the elder people to eliminate their behavioural and thinking patterns.
Various groups are designed specifically to connect all those older people having similar issues like depression, bereavement can be very beneficial in establishing groups. These groups will then help in motivating them to live happily and also provide a space where they can talk freely.