The impact of depression on older adults can differ significantly to the effects on younger adults. In the elderly depression can last longer and take place in conjunction with other illnesses, and can often result in activity impairment for the sufferer.There has been research to suggest that older adults that suffer from illness find it more difficult to rehabilitate because of depression. There are also studies that indicate those suffering from depression are more susceptible to cardiac diseases. Being aware of the symptoms and triggers of depression is vital for family, friends and sufferers. A common error made in the diagnosis of depression in older adults is that it is part of the ageing process. While research has indicated that depression is a treatable condition, reports suggest that unfortunately only 10% receive treatment.
Certain factors can contribute to depression in older adults. For example, statistics have confirmed that older women are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression as older men. Genetics, changes in lifestyle, and a lack of social support are all factors that can influence the illness. Recognising a change in behaviour such as: lack of motivation, fluctuation in weight or appetite, feelings of worthlessness, and concentration and memory problems can play a crucial role in early detection, and lead to successful treatment to combat the illness.
This infographic by Homecare Plus is aimed at increasing awareness of depression among older adults, and educating families, friends and sufferers on symptoms to look out for in order to treat the illness early, and as efficiently as possible. Treatments can range from antidepressants to socialising with others in similar circumstances. We also hope to alert loved ones to the various methods by which they can help in a practical manner, in order to make the person feel included and worthwhile.