Depression and Older Adults
Depression is a common problem among older adults, and there are several types of depression that older adults may experience. Counseling, medicine, or other forms of treatment can help. If you are considering harming yourself, call 911 or go to a hospital emergency room right away.
What are risk factors of depression?
Loneliness and social isolation are risk factors for depression, and the COVID-19 pandemic has brought attention to the issue, but many Americans were lonely before the pandemic. If you’re feeling lonely or socially isolated, try calling someone or joining a virtual club.
What are signs and symptoms of depression?
Depression in older adults can be difficult to detect because older people’s symptoms differ from those of younger people. If left untreated, serious depression can lead to suicide, so knowing the warning signs and how to seek help can save lives.
Supporting friends and family with depression
Here are some things you can do to help if you’re a friend or family member of someone who is depressed. Keep an eye out for signs and symptoms of depression or suicide, and don’t be afraid to ask if a family member or friend is depressed or suicidal.
How is depression treated?
A doctor can rule out certain medications or medical conditions with a physical exam and other tests. If there is no medical condition, a psychological evaluation can help determine a diagnosis. Psychotherapy, counseling, or “talk therapy” are common forms of treatment for depression. Not all medications or therapies will be right for everyone.
Can depression be prevented?
Participation in clinical trials and studies can help advance research to better diagnose, treat, and prevent depression. If you’re interested in participating in a clinical trial or study about depression, talk to your doctor.
For more information about depression
For more information, call 202-401-4634 or go to www.acl.gov.
What is the most effective treatment for depression in older adults?
According to research, psychotherapy is just as likely to be an effective first treatment for depression in older adults as taking an antidepressant, and some older adults would rather get counseling or psychotherapy for depression than take more medications for other conditions.
What is the most common cause of depression in older adults?
The loss of a spouse or partner, as well as the death of friends, family members, and pets, are all common causes of depression in older adults.
What are the most important strategies for coping with depression among older adults?
Depression is commonly treated with the following methods:
- Medications for depression that may balance hormones that affect mood, such as serotonin
- Psychotherapy, counseling, or “talk therapy” that can help a person identify and change troubling emotions, thoughts, and behavior.
How does depression affect an older person?
Depression affects older people differently than it does younger people; depression in older people frequently coexists with other medical illnesses and disabilities, and it lasts longer; depression in older adults is linked to a higher risk of cardiac disease and illness-related death.
What actually causes depression?
According to research, depression is caused by a variety of factors such as faulty mood regulation by the brain, genetic vulnerability, stressful life events, medications, and medical issues, rather than simply having too much or too little of certain brain chemicals.
Is depression in older adults treatable?
If you are concerned about a loved one, offer to accompany him or her to a health care provider to be diagnosed and treated. Depression is a true and treatable medical condition, not a normal part of aging. However, older adults are at an increased risk of experiencing depression.
What is considered old age for a woman?
The old age threshold for women is around 73, and for men it is around 70.
How do you know when an elderly person is giving up?
The following are signs that the body is actively shutting down:
- Weak pulse.
- Changes in consciousness, sudden outbursts, unresponsiveness.
- Noisy breathing.
- Glassy eyes.
- Cold extremities.
- Purple, gray, pale, or blotchy skin on knees, feet, and hands.
- Weak pulse.
What age group has the highest rate of depression?
Women were more likely than men to experience mild, moderate, or severe symptoms of depression. The percentage of adults who experienced any symptoms of depression was highest among those aged 18u201329 (21.0%), followed by those aged 45u201364 (18.4%) and 65 and over (18.4%), and finally, those aged 30u201344 (16.8%).
What is the best anti anxiety medication for elderly?
Buspirone, an anti-anxiety drug that has been shown to be effective in older adults, and benzodiazepines, another anti-anxiety drug that is effective but should be prescribed with caution in older adults due to the risk of memory loss, unsteadiness, and falls.
What is the most serious symptom of depression?
Feelings of hopelessness, irritability, loss of pleasure, difficulty concentrating or sleeping, or thoughts of death or suicide are all signs of severe depression. 1 Technically, severe depression isn’t a formal mental health diagnosis; rather, it refers to depression that is more debilitating in nature.
What can cause personality changes in the elderly?
Dementia, stroke, grief over the loss of a loved one, or the loss of freedom can all cause sudden personality changes in the elderly.
What is the number one cause of depression?
Long-term unemployment, living in an abusive or uncaring relationship, long-term isolation or loneliness, and prolonged work stress, according to research, are more likely to cause depression than recent life stresses.
How does depression in older adults differ from depression in younger adults?
Although elderly patients with major depressive disorders have a higher rate of anxiety than younger depressive patients, the high coexistence of anxiety and depression in the elderly suggests that depression is part of a depression-anxiety syndrome.