Older people suffer from depression
Nearly 25 % or more people older than 65 suffer from one or more of the 5 Ds. These are disability, decline, diminished quality of life, demand on caregivers and dementia. More than 50% of doctor visits by older people are to complain about being depressed. Around 20% of suicides are committed by people belonging to this age group and depression is cited as the main reason for deteriorating health amongst older people.
Separate the illness from depression
Depression is harder to diagnose in seniors because they might also have physical ailments. So for effective ways to get out of depression, the physical and mental disorders must be treated simultaneously. Usually more attention is paid to physical than mental problems. If the patients are not responding to any of the treatments, step-up or change treatments.
Because of their condition and more probably from being lonely, a high percentage of older people drink excessively or pop various pills. Combing both usually has disastrous results. This is bad because once the high from the alcohol or pills is gone; these people are even more depressed than before.
Exercising is pretty good way for seniors to get out of depression. Older people are scared of falling down. This is legitimate because nearly 33% of older citizens invariably suffer falls. Some form of mild exercises can increase strength, sense of balance and confidence. Yoga or some form of martial arts exercises make them physically better and less prone to depression.
Older people usually have less deep levels of sleep than younger people. Depression basically adds to this sleeplessness. The greater the depression, the more sleeping problems are felt.. Cutting down on caffeine and going to bed at the appropriate time will improve their quality of sleep and help fight depression.
Differentiate grief from depression
Recognize the difference between grief and depression. Most women of 65 have lost their husbands which have considerably depressed them. These feelings of grief will eventually pass away, but depression persists indefinitely unless treated. That means that a depressed person is basically just counting the days until he/she expires. So for doctors or caregivers etc. it is essential to recognize the difference to effect remedial steps accordingly.
Keep photos of loved ones
This usually helps to resist depression. Photos generally trigger good or very fond memories. The reminder of one’s partner or some other loved ones starts a trail of memories which go on to bring out added memories and just thinking about the event or the person makes puts the person in a better mood thereby warding off depression.
Research has proven that people who are outgoing and friendly usually do not suffer from depression. Loosing family and friends is part of growing up and growing old. So making new friends is especially important for older people. That is a great buffer against depression.