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Signs and Treatments of Geriatric Depression

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Around 6 million Americans experience depression later in life. Many go untreated, as geriatric depression is often misinterpreted as symptoms of an illness or side effects of medications. This condition is not a normal part of aging and should be treated as any other medical issue. Elderly depression not only increases a senior's risk of cardiac diseases, but also reduces their ability to recover from surgeries, injuries, and other impairments. This is why it's critical to be on the lookout for symptoms in your loved one. It's also a critical reason to have regular physical evaluations by a physician.

Some signs of depression may include:

  • Loss of interest in formerly pleasurable hobbies
  • Insomnia or oversleeping
  • Pessimistic and hopeless attitude
  • Irritability and restlessness
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
  • Decreased energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Overeating or loss of appetite
  • Digestive issues that do not improve with treatment
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts
  • Persistent aches, pains, headaches, or cramps

Treatment Options for Older Adults with Depression
Seniors may display different symptoms, which can also impact the treatment that works best. There is no magic pill to cure depression; finding the solution happens over time and may require a combination of treatment methods.

Some treatments of geriatric depression can consist of:

  • Prescription medications, including antidepressants
  • Engaging in group therapy sessions
  • Participating in one-on-one therapy or counseling
  • Pet therapy
  • For more serious cases, inpatient treatment may be necessary
  • A more balanced diet
  • Increasing physical activity
  • Increasing amount of sleep
  • Socializing with friends and family regularly

Are you or someone you know struggling with symptoms of depression? You are not alone. If problems persist, please visit your family physician and take a step towards recovery and improved quality of life.

At Evergreen Place Assisted Living, we monitor our seniors and their behavior consistently to ensure that depression is prevented or discovered and treated properly. Our Life Enrichment program offers fun and stimulating activities to keep your loved ones active and engaged. For more information, contact us online or by phone at 217-530-4300. 

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