I wanted to draw your attention to a very sobering topic today. Depression in aging adults is a very common mental health issue that we need to understand and recognize. You may be experiencing depression yourself, or your loved one may be suffering from it. It’s important to recognize why this issue is so common among the elderly, and what to do about it.
Depression In Aging Adults
We ran across a great article over at the website MyAgingParent.com. They take a close look at the issue of depression and why older adults are at risk. First among them is why depression in aging adults occurs. Among the most common reasons were;
- Health Problems – Aging adults encounter a myriad of issues as they get older. Hearing loss, declines in vision, aches and pains and cognitive decline are often culprits.
- Loneliness – Older adults can feel isolated as they become less mobile. Extended families get busy with their own lives and visits an become less frequent. Social circles may be declining which adds to depression in aging adults.
- Loss of Friends or Loved Ones – This is a big issue, no matter what the age. This hits you squarely in the gut, and reminds many of their own mortality.
- Prescription Drugs – Interestingly, prescription drugs can cause depression. Blood pressure medications, cholesterol drugs like statins, and even antibiotics can cause depression in aging adults.
Depression is a true and treatable medical condition, not a normal part of aging. However older adults are at an increased risk for experiencing depression. If you are concerned about a loved one, offer to go with him or her to see a health care provider to be diagnosed and treated. – CDC
How To Fight Depression in Aging Adults
The folks at MyAgingParent say that there are many ways to fight depression. A few of the methods they encouraged were;
- Connecting With Others
- Getting Enough Sleep
- Eating Healthy
- Taking Care of a Pet
If you or your loved one may be suffering from depression, the worst thing you can do is nothing. The best thing you can do is reach out to someone for help. Just talking about this issue can free you up to get the help you need. Talk to a family member, friend, or better yet your doctor. The first step to getting better is recognizing that you have depression, AND there’s something you can do about it.