Causes of Depression in the Elderly
Growing older can make some people experience emotional despair. Caregivers often feel this way as well. Senior adults often face unique challenges that cause emotional problems that can make life extremely difficult. The death of a spouse or medical problems—can lead to depression. Ask yourself if you are experiencing one or more of the following problems that can cause geriatric depression:
- Do you experience loneliness and isolation?
- Do you have trouble adjusting to retirement?
- Are you experiencing deterioration of your daily living skills?
- Are you having difficulty coping with change?
- Are grief and loss problems for you or a loved one?
- Is your physical health declining?
- Are you feeling strained family relationships?
Symptoms of Depression in the Elderly
Depression, left untreated, prevents senior adults from enjoying life as they have in the past. Depression not only makes a person feel sick, it can actually make one’s physical health worsen. Here are some of the symptoms of depression in the elderly:
- Crying spells and/or explosive anger
- Feelings of anxiety and depression and anger
- Chronic aches and pain
- Loss of appetite
- Negative changes in eating and sleeping habits
- Difficulty with memory and/or concentration
- A strong sense of hopelessness, often accompanied by despair
Geriatric depression doesn’t need to be an acceptable condition of life. Depression is not a normal or necessary part of aging, and it can be successfully treated. Older persons can feel better and enjoy their golden years once again, no matter what challenges they face.
A strong support system is often helpful to both the caregiver and the senior person’s well-being. Montville Counseling Center brings kindness and compassion to the counseling session for elderly depression. Our Caregivers listen to the senior person and have a conversation with them, either through home visits, in our office or by telephone. These options let the person feel safe and understood, with their dignity left intact.
George MacGregor is a licensed clinical social worker and Elizabeth MacGregor is a licensed professional counselor and a psychoanalyst. Each has extensive experience in geriatric counseling and caregiver consultation work. Their services are available in their Montville office, in-home, and in assisted living facilities. Counseling for those in transition or illness, plus caregivers and family members in need of guidance and support, is provided as well.
For those with Medicare coverage, counseling services are insurance reimbursable.