Depression affects approximately 6 million Seniors aged 65 and older. Only 10% of those diagnosed receive the proper treatment needed for depression. Depression in the elderly can be often confused with other illnesses and medicines being used to treat those illnesses.
Depression in seniors can be linked to an increased risk of cardiac diseases and insomnia. Risk factors include – being female; single, unmarried, divorced, or widowed; lack of supportive social network; and stressful life events.
Physical conditions like stroke, hypertension, atrial fibrillation, diabetes, cancer, dementia, and chronic pain further increase the risk of depression. Additionally, the following are symptoms that can be witnessed in a senior who has depression:
- Sadness or feelings of despair
- Unexplained or aggravated aches and pains
- Loss of interest in socializing or hobbies
- Weight loss or loss of appetite
- Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness
- Lack of motivation and energy
- Sleep disturbances (difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, oversleeping, or daytime sleepiness)
- Loss of self-worth (worries about being a burden, feelings of worthlessness or self-loathing)
- Slowed movement or speech
- Increased use of alcohol or other drugs
- Fixation on death; thoughts of suicide
- Memory problems
- Neglecting personal care (skipping meals, forgetting meds, neglecting personal hygiene)
The treatments available for depression in the elderly include medicine, psychotherapy, counseling, or electroconvulsive therapy. A combination of these therapies can be used. It is best to consult a doctor and have the doctor recommend the type of treatment needed depending on the severity of the depression symptoms, past treatments, and medicines being consumed.
If you have any comments, concerns, or questions, please reach out to us! Here at BlueStar, it is our goal to keep you and your loved ones Safe, Healthy, and Connected. We do this by offering best medical alert systems for seniors that are available on our website. These senior life health products can deliver push-button emergency help so you are never alone. If you have any questions, please contact a product specialist today at (800) 300-1724, option 1!