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Depression is not necessarily a normal reaction to aging, but the risk of depression increases as people age and become more debilitated. Depression often looks different in seniors than it does in younger people. The elderly tend to focus more on physical symptoms and less on emotional ones.
With age there’s an increase in medical problems, cognitive (memory) impairment, bereavement and isolation. In addition to the emotional toll the condition takes, it can also take a physical one, with marked changes in a person’s appearance and health — such as losing weight, feeling a heightened sense of pain, extreme fatigue, and gastrointestinal complaints. Slow speech and a lack of attention to personal appearance may also be indicators of depression. Sometimes, depression is a continuation of a problem that existed when the person was younger. Indeed, many medical problems get more complicated as a person ages, and depression is no exception. People who have had depressive episodes earlier in life may experience longer, more severe episodes as they age.
Signs to watch for:
Support comes in many forms
Fortunately, there are treatments available for late-life depression including therapy and medications that can help enhance quality of life. Additional support can be found at Valhalla Wellness and Medical Centers, a compassionate professional specializing in advanced care planning for seniors nearing the end of life. We will work with families to help them plan and explore the options available that will be best for their loved one. For more information on her services, give us a call today.
By Valhalla Wellness & Medical Centers
April 15, 2020