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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.