older woman looking sad As we age, become less active and more independent on others, feelings of sadness or loneliness may seem inevitable. Yet it’s a common misconception that depression as we grow older is “normal”. Although it’s not a natural part of the aging process, seniors may experience symptoms of depression.

Here are some important factors to keep in mind.

Generational Differences

Unfortunately, today’s seniors grew up in a time when depression was not talked about. For this reason, it’s difficult for some older people to admit they may have a problem.

On the other hand, seniors may think it’s too late for treatment at their age and will learn to live with sadness. Getting your older loves ones to talk about their feelings is very important to differentiate between moments of unhappiness and something more serious.

Effect On Health

Depression is more than a condition of the mind. People who experience depression often report symptoms of increased aches and pains, insomnia, lack of appetite and energy.
Depression can also weaken the immune system, which only compounds an older person’s lowered ability to fight off infections and diseases.

Whose at Higher Risk

Some people are more likely to develop symptoms of depression. A study by Kaiser Permanente found that those in the high-risk category include women, unmarried or widowed singles and those in lower income brackets. A lack of support from family and friends, depression in the family and recent medical problems can also heighten the risk.

Depression Is Treatable

Depression can be treated and has no age restrictions. From young teenagers to seniors, this mental issue can develop at various stages in a person’s life. When properly diagnosed and put on a treatment program, many seniors notice mood improvements.
Avon Health Center is committed to providing the best quality of life for all residents. If your aging loved one needs short or long-term care, learn more about the admissions process.