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Understanding Depression in Seniors

Posted Oct 20, 2015

Depression in seniors is an issue that should not be overlooked and often is in the elderly. This can be a result of ageism, lack of appropriate training and often leaves the symptoms unrecognized and untreated in our seniors.

Untreated depression in seniors can result in serious consequences such as a decline in physical health, over use of the already taxed medical system, poor compliance with treatments and increased chance of alcoholic dependency.

There is a high rate of suicide among men aged 80 and older and many of these have just recently visited their family doctors. Many of these men had expressed ideas about death and had exhibited some suicidal behaviours.

The transitions that take place as we age can affect our mental health and emotional well-being.

Retirement is handled better by some than by others – especially if it is forced upon an individual. It brings stresses related to finances, social contact, status, not to mention the change in relationship dynamics at home.

Any of us over 40 have felt the initial twinges of arthritis and that is depressing enough but it doesn’t touch the many health issues that affect the elderly and bring on the fear of death or of losing our memories.

Loss of relationships by death of a loved one or friend, many of these relationships forged over decades.

We need to be wary of symptoms and be ever vigilant if we are to help our loved ones cope with aging.  When events occur that are likely to upset a senior, do not assume that they will cope well – they already have a lot of coping to do.

Ref. Senior Care Canada