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Seniors and Depression

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Depression has many causes. In seniors, depression can occur after surgery, because of some chronic illness or disease that limits them physically and mentally, or the fact that aging itself can cause depression due to and changes in lifestyle and opportunities.

Seniors with the highest risk for depression are those dealing with illness, the loss of loved one for companionship and support, anxiety over issues, and a sense that they no longer have a purpose in life.

It’s estimated that 6 million adults over 65 are depressed, but that only 10 percent of them receive treatment for it. Loss of mobility and function from illness or disease is a primary cause of depression. If your parent or grandparent is recovering from surgery, receiving treatment for a prolonged disease, or mourning the loss of a partner, look for signs of depression: apathy, brooding, hypersensitivity, inactivity, disinterest and withdrawal from normal activities.

Many seniors fail to recognize the symptoms of depression, so it is often the role of their loved ones to detect and deal with it. the first step is? to recognize that depression isn?t a sign of weakness or a personal flaw.

Grief and clinical depression have similar characteristics. But there are ways to tell the difference.? Grief is normal, and as time goes by grief is replaced by acceptance and ?life goes on? with family friends and activities. ?Extended grief, however, can lead to depression; and depression can create physical problems as well. Professional help may be needed. Antidepressant medicines can have side effects, Herbal remedies and supplements are much safer for older adults, but they may interfere with prescribed medications, so always check with your doctor first.

A Professional Home Care Nurse/Caregiver can not only treat physical problems, but help treat emotional problems as well.


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