You might think that it is easy to detect depression in older people. After all, the many signs of sadness such as lethargy and tears are visible ones. However, depression often manifests differently in older adults as compared to younger people. An older person who is depressed won’t necessarily feel sad but may be complaining about the lack of energy and then attribute it to age. This can make it trickier for loved ones, doctors, or even themselves to spot the symptoms of depression.
Certain medications and illnesses can bring on depression, or mimic it, which makes things even more complicated. This makes it challenging for people to know when to get the help that they need. While depression in older adults is not as common as in younger adults, doctors are likely to overlook it even when it is present. A study has found that primary care doctors spend little time talking about mental health with their older patients. They are also less likely to refer them to a mental health expert even if they show signs of depression.
That is why you need to become familiar with the signs of depression. Read on to learn more about how to tell if your aging parent has depression.
Be Aware Of Symptoms
Older adults with untreated depression may show signs such as a loss of concentration and other cognitive changes. These symptoms may be wrongly attributed to dementia. Older adults who suffer from one or more chronic illnesses have a higher risk of depression. For example, many people with Parkinson’s disease develop depression as well.
Not only cognitive symptoms, experiencing a loss of pleasure in activities, significant weight loss or gain, a depressed mood, sleeping too much or too little, feelings of worthlessness or fatigue are signs that you should look out for. In the case when you see such symptoms, bring your loved one to the doctor for a depression screening and medical exam. If an individual has recurrent thoughts of suicide or death, you need to bring them for an emergency psychiatric evaluation.
Understand The Stigma
One of the main issues that can cause older people to be reluctant to get treatment for depression is believing that getting treatment is a sign of weakness. There tends to be a lot of stigmas associated with depression. You have to make it clear that depression is a disease just like high blood pressure and it is not their fault. The good news is that treatment for depression, whether it is therapy or medication or a mix of both, is just as effective for older people as for younger people. Once depression is treated, quality of life and cognitive abilities will return.
Experience Aston Gardens At The Courtyards
Aston Gardens At The Courtyards is a gorgeous retirement community designed especially for you. In our community, we prioritize our residents’ wellbeing and happiness. Enjoy delicious and healthy gourmet meals prepared by our top chefs. Our beautiful surroundings and friendly team will make you feel instantly welcome. Feel free to contact us for more information.