Depression in Older Adults and the Elderly
Feeling down every once in a while is a normal part of life, but if these feelings start lasting for weeks or longer, you may have depression.
The same will apply for the elderly loved ones in your life. Here are more details about depression and some of the events which may trigger depression in older adults and elderly loved ones
What is depression?
Depression is a serious mood disorder. It can affect the way you feel, act, and think. Depression is a common problem among older adults, but clinical depression is not a normal part of aging. In fact, studies show that most older adults feel satisfied with their lives, despite having more illnesses or physical problems than younger people. However, if you’ve experienced depression as a younger person, you may be more likely to have depression as an older adult.
Depression is serious, and treatments are available to help. For most people, depression gets better with treatment. Counseling, medicine, or other forms of treatment can help. You do not need to suffer — help and treatment options are available. Talk with your doctor if you think you might have depression.
There are several types of depression that older adults may experience:
Major Depressive Disorder – includes symptoms lasting at least two weeks that interfere with a person’s ability to perform daily tasks
Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia) – a depressed mood that lasts more than two years, but the person may still be able to perform daily tasks, unlike someone with Major Depressive Disorder
Substance/Medication-Induced Depressive Disorder – depression related to the use of substances, like alcohol or pain medication
Depressive Disorder Due to A Medical Condition – depression related to a separate illness, like heart disease or multiple sclerosis.
Events that may Trigger Depression
Depression in Elderly may not happen overnight but there are events that can trigger depression if they are not addressed. Here are several we have seen with our patients.
- Care Transitions – All to often a routine surgery or procedure can lead to longer term changes and sometimes depression in the elderly. If subsequent care and any changes are not completely implemented into daily activies, it can lead to unnecessary difficulties. We specialize in care transitions for your loved ones so they can make the changes they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle
- A Fall in or Out of the Home – Having a fall can be traumatic and result in serious injury. It’s important to get the care needed and any subsequent home care to ensure a smooth recovery.
- Illness – Any illness can become more serious for an elderly loved one. This is especially true with COVID. Recovering from illness can lead to depression, especially if the recovery takes longer than expected or there are complications.
- Loss of a Spouse or Loved One – The loss of a spouse or loved one at any age is difficult. This can be even more so with our elderly loved ones. Make sure your elderly loved one receives plenty of care and attention as loneliness can set in long after the passing of a spouse or loved one.
To learn more about how In-Home Care can help improve your loved ones’ quality of life, call Alliance Senior Care at 248-274-2170. It’s not just In-Home Care, it is Integrated Care.
Home Care Services are an excellent resource for family caregivers and seniors alike.
Alliance Senior Care Home Care services offer a wide range of services providing healthcare, daily living assistance, transportation to and from Doctor’s appointments and tailored care services for additional circumstances.