Many seniors have gone through a variety of life events, including death of a spouse or loved one, divorce and personal injury, leaving many to think that depression among the elderly is inevitable with age. However, a recent study reveals that depression is not a certainty as many once thought, according to the Washington Post.
“Even though so many things happen as we get older, lots of losses and physical changes, most people weather those by adapting … without becoming depressed,” says Susan Lehmann, director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Day Hospital at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and one of the main researches in the study.
A variety of factors come into play when diagnosing depression as genetics and medical complications such as diabetes and coronary heart disease. However, there is a stark contrast between those clinically depressed, and those with feelings of being depressed, and both can be treated if recognized early in their progression.
The New York Times suggests addressing any physical illness or medication that may be exacerbating the problem and making symptoms worse. A daily regimen of light exercise, healthy sleep habits and minimizing the use of intoxicants can substantially decrease the symptoms associated with depression among the elderly.
Surrounding seniors with positive peers is one of the most important steps. Senior home caregiving is one such solution for providing elder care and companionship, thus possibly reducing the risk of depressive complications.