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 percentage of elderly suffer from depression?
The good news is that the vast majority of older adults are not depressed; estimates of major depression in community-dwelling older people range from less than 1% to about 5%, but rise to 13.5% in those who require home healthcare and 11.5% in older hospitalized patients.
What is the most common cause of depression in the elderly?
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.
Is depression more prevalent in old age?
Although depression is less common in older adults than in younger adults, it can have serious consequences; more than half of cases occur later in life, and suicide rates in the elderly are still higher than in younger adults, and are more closely associated with depression.
Why do people get depressed when they get older?
If blood flow is restricted, blood vessels may stiffen and reduce normal flow to the brain over time, resulting in depression that occurs for the first time later in life.
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 age group has 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 age is legally considered elderly?
According to the Social Security Administration, 9 out of 10 people over the age of 65 are eligible for Social Security benefits, and 65 is the legal age at which U.S. citizens are considered seniors.
At what age is a person considered elderly?
The World Health Organization believes that most developed world countries define old age as 60 years or more, but this definition is inapplicable in places like Africa, where the traditional definition of an elder, or elderly person, is 50 to 65 years old.
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 can happen if you don’t treat depression?
Untreated clinical depression is a serious problem because it increases the risk of risky behaviors like drug or alcohol addiction, as well as destroying relationships, causing work problems, and making it difficult to overcome serious illnesses.
What are the best antidepressants for the elderly?
Citalopram, escitalopram, and sertraline are SSRIs with the best safety profile in the elderly, with the lowest potential for drug-drug interactions based on their cytochrome P-450 interactions.
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.
How many years does anxiety take off your life?
Researchers from the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare calculated the effects of multiple risk factors, including lifestyle-related ones, on the life expectancy of men and women and found that being under a lot of stress cuts their life expectancy by 2.8 years.
What mental illness gets worse with age?
Paranoid, schizoid, schizotypal, obsessive compulsive, borderline, histrionic, narcissistic, avoidant, and dependent personality disorders are among those that can worsen with age, according to Dr. Rosowsky, a geropsychologist in Needham, Massachusetts.
Does social anxiety get worse with age?
Does anxiety get worse as you get older? Anxiety disorders don’t necessarily get worse as you get older, but the number of people who suffer from them does. Anxiety becomes more common as you get older, and it’s most common among middle-aged adults.