The research, which was published in the May 2012 issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, shows middle-aged and elderly men and women who have had depression symptoms were 70 percent more likely to exhibit cognitive impairment. Grand Villa of Ormond Beach (http://www.ormondbeachseniorliving.com), a senior living residential community in Volusia County, is helping seniors and their caregivers cope with depression in hopes it won’t become a bigger problem down the road.
“Caregivers and family members may not always notice their loved ones are suffering from depression. They may think they are coping with the loss of a spouse or friend or adjusting to changes in their lives,” says Sandra Davis, executive director of Grand Villa. “While depression may appear to be normal among seniors, it is a serious condition that needs to be treated.”
Common signs of depression among seniors include:
• Lack of appetite
• Problems concentrating
Davis says these symptoms are often attributed to the aging process, which is why they may go unnoticed. It is why it is a good idea to watch for other indications there may be a problem. These can include checking the refrigerator and pantry to see if both are stocked, making sure the house is clean and monitoring a loved one’s personal hygiene. Also, if your loved one becomes reluctant to socialize or leave the house, it may be a red flag.
“Seniors aren’t always comfortable discussing their feelings and often associate the word ’depression’
Although prescription of antidepressants is often a treatment method, studies show that therapy and activities can also be effective. Caregivers and family members can set up regular visits, shopping trips and activities, like going to the library or movie theater. This will give seniors something to look forward to and improve their mood.
“With the love and support of family, caregivers and friends, depression is a condition that can be managed much easier,” says Davis.
About Grand Villa of Ormond Beach
Grand Villa of Ormond Beach (www.ormondbeachseniorliving.com)
About Senior Management Advisors, Inc.
Senior Management Advisors (SMA) (www.seniormanagementadvisors.com)