Depression among the Elderly Population

Depression among the Elderly population continues to be overlooked. Often time’s people think elderly depression is a part of the aging population. However, many changes that often comes while age increase such as retirement, death of loved one, increased isolation, and medical problems tend to highlight depression.   Depression can become untreated for the Elderly population because it can present like many other diseases such as: Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Arthritis, Cancer, Heart Disease, and Parkinson’s, Stroke, and Thyroid disorders (Nami  2009). Some of the signs that present in depression among the elderly are:  Memory problems, Confusion, Social withdrawal, Loss of appetite, Weight loss, Vague complaints of pain, Inability to sleep, Irritability, Delusions (fixed false beliefs), and Hallucinations (Nami 2009). Within the Elderly population depression is usually classified with a physical symptom or illness which in turn highlights the depressive state.


Treatment of Depression among the Elderly Population

There are many different treatments that can be produce stability for an elderly individual who is currently depressed. Exercise is always imperative for anyone who is suffering with depression this works well with the elderly population.  Exercise allows your body to release chemicals called Endorphin. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Routine exercise has been proven to release stress and improve attitude (Helpguide 2013). Another important component to treatment is Interaction. Many elderly individuals isolate themselves during depression. Interaction is imperative to allow connectedness with other elderly so they can feel include in society and allows depression not to linger for long period of times. There are many Senior Centers throughout the world which provides daily activities and interaction for the elderly populations. There has always been a debut about Anti-depressant medication for elderly, reason being most Anti-depressant interfere with other prescription medications. Most medications that are given to seniors need to be monitored due to overdose and deadly side effects (Helpguide 2013).


Lending a helping hand

Many Elderly would like for someone to talk with them and listen to stories about, How life was when they were growing up? Lending an ear or a helping hand could possible combat depression in an elderly person. Look for signs of depression and try to speak to directly to them about your concerns or any other issues.  Daily motivation and positive affirmations can fight against depression symptoms.


Kenisha Rotibi, LMSW


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