Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Depression in Senior Citizens

Depression in Senior Citizens
By David Crumrine

Depression is a medical condition that is characterized by feeling down, depressed, or hopeless; low self-esteem; and loss of interest in things one used to enjoy. Senior citizens are prone to life-altering changes that can lead one to feel depressed. Dealing with the trials life throws at us such as, loss, change, loneliness, or a chronic medical condition can be quite overwhelming. Still, depression is not a "normal" part of aging. Like heart disease or diabetes, depression is a medical condition and it can be treated with medication and therapy. Treatment is effective at alleviating symptoms within a few weeks in at least 80 percent of people.

It is important that senior citizens and those providing their elder care understand the symptoms of depression. If you think you or someone you know may be suffering from depression, identify your symptoms by using the checklist provided below. Then, if necessary, seek assistance. For senior citizens, the most frequently used resource is a family doctor. Bringing a trusted friend or relative may help ease any anxiety when going to an appointment. Understand that your doctor may suggest a checkup and begin treatment or refer you to a mental health specialist.

Before you say, "I'm okay"....

Do you feel:

  • Anxious or "empty"

  • Guilty or useless

  • Agitated or irritable

  • Less interested in things you used to enjoy

  • Like no one loves you

  • Life is not worth living
Or if you are:
  • A change in sleeping habits

  • A change in eating habits

  • Persistent headaches, stomach aches, or pain
Remember that these may be real symptoms of a real medical condition that can be effectively treated. Talk to your doctor today. Though many senior citizens suffer from depression, feeling depressed is not a normal part of aging.

Health and Wellness tips

There are many measures senior citizens can take to help relieve the symptoms of depression. Those involved in the elder care of senior citizens experiencing depression should encourage the senior to follow these tips and improve their wellbeing.

Check your medications. Senior citizens often take many medications. Some medications, including those for sleep, blood pressure, and nervousness, may affect mood. Talk with your doctor about each of the medications you are taking. Be sure to include all over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements to minimize the chances of having side effects.

Limit alcohol consumption. Alcohol use can bring about depression. And, when alcohol and drugs are combined, interactions that lead to depression can occur.

Stay connected. Sometimes, senior citizens find it more difficult to get out and stay connected with others. Still, talking with friends and family members, getting a pet, or even finding a new interest or hobby can help one through this tough time. Get involved in activities you take pleasure in, such as reading a good book, going to a ballgame or a taking a class in a subject that interests to you.

Be active. Physical activity can improve physical and mental wellbeing. Though some senior citizens believe they cannot exercise, there are activities like walking, gardening, or working out (even if one is in a wheelchair) that can be helpful. Make a goal of 30 minutes of activity 5 days a week. If you have not taken part in physical activity in a while, be sure to check with your doctor and get his ok before you begin.

Eat healthy and drink plenty of fluids. Choose healthy snacks like fruits, vegetables, yogurt, or nuts to increase your nutrition and energy. Also, try to eat well-balanced meals. Some senior citizens suffer from loss of appetite and weight loss; if you have experienced either of these, consult your doctor.

The Caring Space


David Crumrine at the Caring Space

We are an organization that connects caregivers and care seekers, providing an easy and affordable resource for families seeking care for friends/loved ones and caregivers seeking employment.

Article Source: http://ezinearticles.com


samantha said...


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editor said...

Hi,nice blog and article.Depression has been a problem to many people but it is easy to overcome if certain steps are taken. keep up the good work.

Unique said...

Depression is "easy" to overcome; perhaps for some, but not for all.

Teach Hot Yoga said...

Yes, it is a common misconception that depression is normal for senior citizen. A lot of people typically say, "I'm okay." as a standard answer. Knowing what symptoms of depression is vital so that the proper treatment can be given.

Therapist Finder said...

Yes,Depression can make life hard to live. Depression mercilessly throws your life out of balance and disable you to enjoy your life any more. No age group can escape from the effects of depressive symptoms. Even most aged people. Thanks for very useful Blog post for readers.

Leigh Turgeon said...


My name is Leigh. Your exceptional blog deals with depression awareness and I know you are familiar with the importance of mental health. It is for these reasons that I contact you today.

I am ‘every woman’, the girl next door and the one you never would have suspected, however, for years I have been struggling with depression. I have written a book about my experiences entitled “The Blue Veil”.

Through this book, it is my aim to reduce the stigma of depression by increasing awareness of the issue. I am donating a large percentage of the proceeds to 15 carefully chosen mental health awareness organizations worldwide. I have provided the list of these organizations at the end of this email.

This is where you come in. I am organizing a 2 month long online book release campaign, structured around various depression awareness weeks around the world. It will be from July 1st to August 31st. My request is, during this period of time would you be willing to host me on your blog for a few days of those months? This can be carried out in a few ways:
-I would send you a couple/few articles that talk about my book and of course depression awareness. You would post these articles on your blog over a few days during those months (letting me know which days you will choose)
-You could write your own prose about “The Blue Veil” and depression awareness and post these articles on your blog over the course of the months (letting me know which days you will choose).
Now you may be wondering what is in this for you and your blog? Well, I could provide you with a free version of “The Blue Veil”. You could also review the depression awareness organizations, which I will send to you, to see if there is one you would like to be included and I will certainly look into it.

More on “The Blue Veil”:
Up to 58 MILLION suffer from it in the US alone, and VERY FEW talk about it. Is it your friend, colleague or neighbor? Now, finally, ‘The Blue Veil’ brings a modern, raw account of depression. Read it and understand your loved ones better. Be assured that no one is alone.

``Leigh has everything going for her when the unthinkable happens. She loses control of her own emotions and everything in her life begins to slip away. With a marriage strained to the brink, the loss of her father, fertility issues and the loss of her job, will Leigh be able to move beyond The Blue Veil and take back control of her future?``

Thanks so much for your consideration and efforts. I understand that you are busy, so I wanted to express my sincere gratitude. It is with great respect for you and your blog that I write this email and it would mean so much to me to have your readers aware of my efforts.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at any time if you have any questions regarding my request.
Sincerely yours,
Leigh Turgeon
email: leighturgeon@gmail.com
Twitter: @leighslead
The Blue Veil Blog http://behindtheblueveil.blogspot.ca/
FB Page The Blue Veil https://www.facebook.com/TheBlueVeil
FB Page Leigh Turgeon https://www.facebook.com/LeighTurgeon