Senior depression is more common in elderly adults compared to dementia. However, it is frequently underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed. As a provider of health care service in Illinois, we often lookout for symptoms of senior depression in our clients. If left untreated, this condition may manifest through physical symptoms.
There are three types of depression common in seniors. This includes:
- Major depression
Their symptoms interfere with their daily activities such as work, sleep, concentration, eating, and just enjoying life in general. This may come in single or multiple episodes.
- Persistent depressive disorder
These are less severe but can last for a longer duration.
- Minor depression
These are less manifest in less severe symptoms and do not last as long.
Senior depression is often misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed as it can manifest in less obvious symptoms and seniors are often unwilling to talk about their feelings. Here are some common signs of depression:
- Feeling persistently sad, anxious, or “empty”
- Losing interest in the hobbies and activities they used to enjoy
- Feeling fatigued or slowed down due to having less energy
- Having difficulties in sleeping, awakening, or oversleeping
- Changes in appetite and weight
Any home maker or caregiver should remember that senior depression is not a normal part of aging and that it is best to seek help for this condition before it worsens.