Depression in the Elderly
Do you have an elderly family member who you think is depressed but are not sure?
This is common because depressive symptoms in the elderly may be different from those in a younger adult. Here are some of the following reasons:
How is depression in the elderly different?
▸ fewer symptoms (may not meet all criteria for the disorder)
▸ depression may be accompanied or caused by medical illness
▸ depression may be due to side effects of prescribed drugs
▸ older individuals may be resistant to talking about depression
▸ depressive complaints may be couched in physical not emotional terms
Who is at more risk for developing depression?
▸ being female
▸ being single, divorced or widowed
▸ socially isolated
▸ family history of depression and/or suicide
▸ major life changes such as financial loss, death of family member or retirement
How is depression treated in the elderly?
▸ Cognitive and Behavioral Activation Psychotherapies
▸ medically oriented treatments - Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation or Electrocon-
▸ meditation and physical exercise
What can I do to help my elderly family member?
▸ get them to verbalize their feelings and reasons for being depressed
▸ don’t tell them it’s all in their head, or pull themselves up by their bootstraps
▸ break up difficult tasks into small, easy steps for them
▸ try to get them involved in support groups or social activities
▸ support daily involvement in activities they enjoy
▸ encourage and discuss advantages of getting professional help
If you are not sure whether your loved one is depressed we can help. Contact us at (847) 227-8323.
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