Many Seniors may be at risk for depression, which if left untreated can increase the risk of death. Seniors are faced with a variety of loss, such as loss of independence, loved ones, physical health or mobility. It is crucial to deal with these difficult losses and understand the appropriate sadness and grief that must be allowed. Depression, however, goes beyond the normal feeling of sadness.
A person may be depressed if there is a persistent feeling of hopelessness, loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable, weight loss, or thoughts of suicide. Unfortunately, seniors are often left untreated when it comes to depression. According to the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, reasons for this lack of treatment include:
- Stigma and a denial of problems by the patient
- Access barriers, especially for people with mobility issues
- Lack of collaboration and coordination between mental health professionals and other service providers
- A shortage of geriatric psychiatrists and psychologists
- Financial barriers, as older patients on a fixed income may not be able to afford antidepressants
At Preferred Care at Home, we understand that depression is not a natural part of aging. We will be announcing shortly a program that is designed to break down collaboration barriers and help seniors access the care that they need.
If you suffer from depression, contact your primary care physician or a mental health counselor near you.
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