Elderly depression: Symptoms, causes, treatment

Elderly depression:-

Elderly depression is the depression seen in the old age people. Most of the old age people are at the risk of Elderly depression with number of risk factors. Nearly 10 to 15 % of aged people about 65 years, suffers from elderly depression. Elderly depression is one of the major public health problem. A research study says that older adults with both diabetes and elderly depression are 36 percent to 38 percent risk of dying from any cause.

Most of the elderly depression are not identified easily in nursing homes and general hospitals. A mental health center is the right place to diagnose elderly depression and to provide appropriate mental health care. Hospitalization and different psychotherapies helps in reducing depression and restoration of mental health.

Somatic complaints and cognitive impairments are main symptoms usually associated with elderly depression. Antidepressant medications  are given to treat depression in elders and the dosage fixing and checking for drug tolerance is very important.

Causes of elderly depression:-

  • Normal aging process,
  • Loss of spouse or loved one,
  • Loneliness,
  • Loss of independence,
  • Feeling of being neglected form young ones,
  • Fear of death or dying,
  • Feelings of purposelessness
  • Chronic medical illnesses,
  • Nutritional deficiency,
  • Prolonged drug therapy,
  • Psychosocial factors, and
  • Mental health problem
  • Loss of mobility due to joint deformity,

Symptoms of Elderly depression:-

  • Likes to be alone always,
  • Refuses to take food,
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss,
  • Loss of self-worth,
  • Deficit sleep,
  • Sadness,
  • Anxiety and worries
  • Neglects personal care,
  • Loss of memory,
  • Not interested in mingling with family members,
  • Social withdrawal and isolation,
  • Likes to stay in a dark room,
  • Fixation on death and likes to die,
  • Becomes alcoholics and drug abused,

Treatment of  Elderly depression:-

Antidepressant therapy : Antidepressant medications  lessens the symptoms of elderly depression. Care should be taken to lessen the side effects of drugs which occurs in elders. Treating underlying cause is also needed. Neuroleptic medications are also beneficial in some individuals.

Psychological counseling : is very beneficial in relieving symptoms of depression. Counseling should facilitate to make off loneliness, and should be according to the need and life situation of elder ones.

Music therapy : Listening to musical songs, devotional songs also helps in treating elderly depression. ECT electroconvulsive therapy can be given to some individuals.

Emotional support : The family members should mingle with elders to remove loneliness. Make the elders to play with small kids. Take a regular walk and advice to love the environment. Make them feel some one is caring and love the elders.

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