The Signs of Depression

Depression is estimated to affect 6 million American age 65 and older, but only 10% receive treatment for this serious condition (WedMD LINK: Depression and the Elderly).  You and your staff can be an important part of treating depression by identifying residents who may be displaying signs of the disease.  This can be challenging, however, because older adults may show signs and symptoms of depression differently than younger adults.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommend watching for these signs and symptoms of depression in the elderly:

  • Being more confused or forgetful.
  • Eating less. The refrigerator may be empty or contain spoiled food.
  • Not bathing or shaving as often. Visitors may notice smells of urine or stool. Clothes may be dirty and wrinkled.
  • Not taking care of the home.
  • Stopping medicines or not taking them correctly.
  • Withdrawing from others. Not talking as much, and not answering the phone or returning phone calls.

Learn more at the NIH website: Depression – elderly

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