Mental Health Awareness
May is Mental Health Awareness Month:
Seniors and Depression
Nearly 30 years ago Mom died after many years of surgeries and extended hospital stays. During that time, Dad was her primary caregiver.
Within a few months of Mom's death, Dad moved 350 miles to live near his children, followed by major heart surgery.
Within 1 year Dad had experienced 3 of the most common scenarios that lead to depression; death of a loved one, a major move, and a serious medical illness.
Dad was diagnosed with depression and started on a course of antidepressant therapy.
It is not uncommon for a senior citizen to be uprooted from their home of 25 or more years and moved to an unfamiliar environment.
This change commonly happens after they have lost a loved one or have had some sort of major medical illness.
At this point, caregivers may assume it is normal for the senior to feel sad and lonely. Family members may feel that if they give their elder some time they will just come out of it.
Most likely, they have suffered a decrease in neurotransmitters from emotional trauma and the overwhelming feeling of sadness and loneliness they are feeling may be diagnosed as depression.
This is treatable.
As we move through our daily practice, remember, the seniors we are serving may be experiencing any number of contributing factors which could lead to depression.
Be aware, start a conversation, educate, and offer support.
#mentalhealthawareness #seniorcaregiver #depression