Thinking about aging may bring many of us to depression, but the reality of aging brings real declines in health, including an increased risk of depression and anxiety.
Depression is a common mental health issue that occurs in elders who often already have other medical conditions. Sometimes, even if they don't have any significant health issues, they are at risk of depression and anxiety. However, depression is a manageable condition with proper care and treatment.
The National Institute on Aging says that depression is a serious mood disorder, but clinical depression is not a normal part of aging. Depression and anxiety affect how a person acts and feels, and it can even affect how they think. Often, without treatment, it adversely affects the person's lifestyle and quality of life. It is, however, a common problem.
According to CDC, among adults aged 50 years or older, 7.7% were reported to have depression, and 15.7% reported a history or lifetime diagnosis of depression. Older people are at risk of misdiagnosis, and sometimes their depression symptoms are discarded as a normal age-related issue.
Types of Depression
There are several types of depression. The most common include:
- Major Depression— severe symptoms that interfere with a person's ability to do normal activities. People often have difficulties with sleep, concentration, and eating properly. They are not enjoying life as they should.
- Persistent Depressive Disorder (Dysthymia)— this is the loss of interest in normal daily activities, a feeling of hopelessness, low self-esteem, and an overall feeling of inadequacy. These feelings can last for years and interfere with relationships and daily activities.
- Minor Depression—this type of depression is less severe than major depression and dysthymia, and symptoms do not last long.
Anxiety vs. Depression
Many people with anxiety also develop depression and vice versa -especially true with older people. Approximately half the people diagnosed with depression with also be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, according to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America.
Anxiety and depression have different symptoms. For example, people with depression feel withdrawn and sad, adversely impacting their health, lifestyle, and ability to interact with others.
However, with anxiety, it creates a state of high-alert. Those with anxiety tend to be more 'keyed up' as they struggle to manage their racing thoughts. Another distinctive characteristic of anxiety is the presence of fear about the future.
There are some overlaps in symptoms of depression and anxiety, and treatment options are sometimes similar.
Symptoms of Depression in Old People
When an individual's symptoms of depression last for at least two weeks, it is considered a major depressive episode. The symptoms of depression are:
- Constant feeling of sadness
- Excessive worries
- Frequent tearful state of emotions
- Feeling helpless or worthless
- Immense weight change
- False memories
- Fidgeting or pacing
- Difficulty sleeping
- Difficulty concentrating
Medical Conditions That Cause Depression
Chronic medical conditions can trigger the symptoms of depression, especially in elderly patients. Some medical conditions that may give rise to depression include:
- Parkinson's disease
- Heart disease
- Multiple sclerosis
Medication and Depression
Certain medications may cause depression as a side-effect, and some doctors miss this because they are unaware of all the medications that a patient may be taking. A doctor must be aware of all the medications you or your older loved one is taking. As we get older, we may often see multiple doctors and ensure each doctor has a list of all the medications.
For older people, be sure they have a written list of their medications with them when they go to the doctor. Adult children should also have this list. It is also best if all prescriptions get filled at the same pharmacy. Often a pharmacist will see dangerous drug interactions and can explain potential side effects.
If a person has depression symptoms when a new medicine has been added to their routine, they must tell the doctor immediately. Many people, especially older people, may fail to admit to changes in their mental state. Honest communication is essential.
However, some medicines may successfully treat the symptoms of depression and anxiety. You may consult your doctor and get your prescribed medication from 90daymeds.com. Anti-depression medications help relieve the symptoms; however, monitoring the individual when taking their medicines closely is necessary.
Treatment of Depression
As people get older, they experience declines in their health, body, and mind. Treatment may become more complex when you add depression to the mix of concerns, and various options are available; sometimes, it may require more than one approach.
Take a look at some of the available options to treat and manage depression in addition to - or in lieu of medication:
Psychotherapy can be comforting for elderly patients. Cognitive-behavioral therapy can yield effective results among the elderly if regular sessions are taken. This type of therapy eliminates behavioral patterns and thoughts that contribute to symptoms of depression in the patient.
- Support groups
Support groups are designed specifically for older adults suffering from depression. Participating in support group activities helps the patient feel happy and calm. Some older people living in isolation may find it comforting to enroll in a support group where they can meet others in their age group going through the same issues.
- Lifestyle changes
Increasing social activities, being more physically active, and having healthy eating habits may help improve the mental health condition of individuals suffering from depression. Even friends and family can help by doing some activities on their own:
- Schedule outings
- Visit more often
- Assist with their daily tasks
- Cooking for the elderly
- Giving them a ride to their medical appointments
Depression and Long-Term Care
For those who are receiving long-term health care services, depression and anxiety can be common and complicate care plans and lifestyles. Depression in nursing home residents differs from those receiving in-home care due to the challenges of living in a formal long-term care facility.
Most families are unprepared for the changes they see in their aging parents. They see their parents go from being completely independent to dependent on others for normal living activities.
Long-term care services are costly, even with in-home care. Family caregivers are not able to juggle the caregiving role with their careers and other responsibilities. For the older adult, this adds to their anxiety and depression.
Planning ahead of time for the costs and burdens of aging will reduce the stress and anxiety placed on everyone. For many people, Long-Term Care Insurance offers peace-of-mind by providing access to quality care choices while protecting assets. However, the time to plan is before retirement, ideally in your 40s or 50s.
About the Author
Jennifer Ford is a content writer/Blogger at ReadMyBlogOnline. She writes on multiple categories on health, Travel, Food, Fitness and Lifestyle. She has just started her career in the Blogging field. Apart from Blogging she enjoys cooking, reading books and playing tennis with her friends in her spare time.
Contributor since September 27th, 2021
Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance gives you guaranteed tax-free benefits offering you the choice of quality care - at home or in a facility. Your loved ones will have the time to be family instead of caregivers.
The best time to plan is before retirement, ideally in your 40s or 50s. AS the costs of care increase in the years ahead, the financial impact of those future costs will increase. The costs vary depending on location - Cost of Care Calculator - Choose Your State | LTC News.
Planning Resources Available on LTC NEWS
You can compare the major insurance companies that offer Long-Term Care Insurance products here - Top Insurers for Long-Term Care Insurance | LTC News.
The Ultimate Long-Term Care Guide is an outstanding read to help you get a good overview of the topic area. There are also available tax incentives, and see if these tax incentives are helpful - Long-Term Care Tax Benefits Guide.
Find all the resources on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.
Share Your Knowledge - Be A Guest Contributor for LTC NEWS
There is a big audience on LTC NEWS waiting for you to share your knowledge with them. You and your company or website have enormous benefits when you get an article published on LTC NEWS.
Improve your website or blog's SEO and gain exposure and traffic at the same time by being a contributor to LTC NEWS.
Just write a story or ongoing column for LTC NEWS. Stay on topic with articles on health, aging, caregiving, retirement planning, long-term care, and other topics that interest adults over age 40.
You can even promote yourself, your business, and your website or blog. However, it must have editorial content exclusive for LTC NEWS and cannot be just an advertisement. It can include links to other sites, and you can share the article link once published on your website or social media.
Email your story idea or article: email@example.com - LTC News Contributors | LTC News
Fund Care or Purchase LTC Coverage with A Reverse Mortgage
If you - or your loved one needs care now, a reverse mortgage could be an answer. Many people today that have much of their savings invested in their home.
With today's reverse mortgages, you can use the money in your home to fund a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, add retirement income, or even pay for in-home care if you need care now.
Learn more now - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.
Your Marketing and Advertising Partner – LTC NEWS
There are many marketing options available with LTC NEWS. Traditional advertising, sponsored content articles, and strategic alliances are available.
Drive traffic to your website and find the people interested in your products and services by using LTC NEWS. Plus, you can improve your website's SEO so more consumers can find you when they search for your services.
Learn more about how LTC NEWS can help you market your business, drive traffic, and improve SEO - Advertise With Us | LTC News.
Looking for Quality Caregivers? Need Help Filing an LTC Insurance Claim?
If a loved one already needs in-home care or owns a Long-Term Care Insurance policy and needs assistance filing the claim, LTC NEWS is here to help.
LTC NEWS provides free assistance with no obligation - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News. You can also help find caregivers and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy or not.
LTC NEWS offers a 'helpful links' page so readers looking for additional information can find them easily. You can get a dofollow link to your website on LTC NEWS in exchange for a dofollow link on your site.
Let's work together and help consumers who search for us on the web - Site Request | LTC News.
Sharing News with LTC NEWS
Include LTC NEWS in your press release distribution. If your group, organization, business, political committee, etc., have news to share, send it to LTC NEWS. Email - firstname.lastname@example.org