Depression in the elderly
With ageing comes understandable stresses. Lack of mobility, pain, bereavement can all contribute to feeling low or feeling depressed. While some people describe depression as “living in a black hole” or having a feeling of impending doom, others feel lifeless, empty, and apathetic. Men, in particular may even feel angry and restless. No matter how it is experienced,depression is different from normal sadness in that it engulfs your day-to-day life
Did you know that a huge 85% of older people with depression receive no help whatsoever from the NHS. This is partly due to the fact they don’t seek help. They feel they should be able to cope and that feeling as they do makes them appear weak. Depression is not a normal part of ageing and can be helped with treatment.
Signs to look for,
- the person feel hopeless and helpless
- they lost interest in friends, activities, and things you used to enjoy
- they feel tired all the time( elderly people tend to sleep more anyway)
- their sleep and appetite has changed
- they can’t concentrate or find that previously easy tasks are now difficult
- they are un-able control your negative thoughts, no matter how much they try
- they become much more irritable, short-tempered, or aggressive than usual
- they may be consuming more alcohol than normal or engaging in other reckless behaviour.
There is a useful free guide available called “Dealing with Depression” which is available from Charity, Independent Age. It is packed full of practical advice and tips including when someone elderly should seek help from their Doctor.
You can download a copy here or get a paper copy by calling 0800 319 6789.