The problem with depression is that, in a huge number of cases, it isn’t diagnosed, which means it is not treated properly. This situation is alarming, since studies show every fifth American who is placed in a nursing home feels depressed. It is estimated that 15% of elderly adults in the US suffer from this disease, and it is one of the main causes of suicide among seniors. So the question is how to recognize depression in the elderly on time and how to react properly?
Symptoms of Depression in the Elderly
Symptoms are not always the same and vary case by case. However, a depressed person is usually sad most of the time and feels hopeless. It is normal to be sad if you lost someone close to you recently, but if this happens without a clear reason, then it is a sign of depression. Self-pity is also one of the most common symptoms.
Confusion can be one of the signs of depression, but be careful with this one. Confusion can be a symptom of dementia and other diseases as well. It is the same with loss of appetite and insomnia. Monitor carefully your loved one’s behavior. Perhaps they are not depressed, but are showing signs of Alzheimer’s or something else.
What Should You Do When You Notice Symptoms?
Once you suspect your loved one suffers from depression, the best thing would be to seek professional help. Doctors know best and they will do necessary examinations, as well as explain further steps to be taken. However, there is much more you can do. Keep reminding them they are not alone. Organize various activities for them and make their life more dynamic then it is. Try to always be supportive and show your love. This is not difficult, but it can help a lot. For more tips on how to help someone with depression, go here.
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