Depression in the Elderly


Basically, depression is an ordinary psychological disorder which is characterized by high tempers, interest failure and loss of happiness. In addition, it is characterized by thoughts of shame, low self-esteem, troubled slumber, low vigor and reduced attentiveness. The mentioned troubles may continue or recur and may make the depressed persons have considerable mutilation of their ability to pay attention to daily tasks. Alistair1 argued out that depression in extreme cases may front the depressed persons to commit suicide. Depression is linked to loss of approximately eight hundred and fifty thousand lives annually. As a matter of fact, depression is the chief cause of disability and a major cause of universal poor health today.

Anti-depressant prescriptions and planned psychoanalysis are successful for majority of those who have contracted depression. The drugs are available and may be found at prime care centers. Obstacles to efficient care are such as inadequate resources, short supply of trained providers and societal disgrace linked with psychological disorders. Prime care programs meant for depression improve the care experience, pleasure, wellbeing, performance, monetary output and domestic prosperity.

Depression among the Elderly

Many of the problems that the elderly face for instance the death of their half-best may trigger depression in particular among those lacking a brawny sustenance scheme. However, depression is not a crucial component among the elderly. Chapmand2 believes that depression normally makes the elderly not to take pleasure in life as fully as they would wish and normally does pose a serious threat on vigor. Actually, a small portion of the elderly access assistance they require in spite of depression being a regular setback. The motives as to why depression in the elderly is frequently disregarded includes the fact that a number of people take for granted that this despair is simply a fraction of growing old.

Furthermore, the elderly are repeatedly cut off from communal activities and very few people are available to discern their anguish. In most cases, medical personnel usually assume depression in the elderly patients and as a substitute give attention to physical suffering. Lastly, a number of the depressed elder persons are unwilling to converse as regards their thoughts and need for assistance. Rosangela3 states that this may result to undesirable outcomes which comprise depression. If depression is not accorded proper medical attention it may façade to grave health threats for elderly adults especially those who are fond of alcohol. However, with proper cure and assistance, the depressed elderly may recover in time.

Reasons behind Depression among the Elderly

One of the causes of depression among the elderly is seclusion. Many elderly people are often left alone when the young and energetic group goes around their usual daily duties. This leads to feeling of neglect and worthlessness which ultimately leads to depression. Another possible cause of depression amongst the elderly is the condensed logic of aim. This is characterized by thoughts of worthlessness or identity failure because of sequestration or physical confines. Pennix4 believes that health issues may also be a major contributor of depression amongst the elderly.

Prescription is another contributor of depression amongst adults. A number of medical prescriptions make depression worse. In addition, fright is another contributor of depression amongst the elderly. Fright at times strikes due to fear of demise, nervousness over monetary troubles or vigor concerns. Lastly, current life struggles among their sons and daughters do contribute lot to depression. These struggles make the elderly people in our society change their way of thinking and emotions. This means the struggles and demise of associates or loved ones is a major cause of depression especially when it involves a life partner.

Signs and Indicators of Depression among the Elderly

The signs and symptoms of depression amongst the elderly are grief, exhaustion, ditching attention in leisure activities, communal exclusion and loneliness which make them unwilling to socialize with allies. Another indicator is lack of sheer determination to take part in functions, body weight reduction and loss of appetite. Slumber turbulences which include complexity in having good sleep, sleeping for too long and day time drowsiness are signs of depression. Loss of self-esteem brought about by doubts concerning loads and thoughts of insignificance. Finally, other signs include amplified alcohol consumption and or associated drug substances and homicidal feelings or efforts.

Ways of helping the Depressed Elderly

There are several ways of assisting the depressed elders. One of the easiest ways is incorporating them in our daily activities which cater for psychological and physical needs. This is because depression is improbable when thoughts of the elderly are dynamic. Such actions include visiting zoos, national museums and hiking. Another way is by planning regular communal activities. Such actions include faction excursions, making trips to allies and extended family members or trips to the local society centers. Preparing balance diet foods is also helpful in maintaining their physique since a meager diet may make depression worsen.

We should also cheer up the depressed elders and encourage them to follow medical prescriptions to the later. This is important because depression persists especially if treatment is terminated abruptly. We should also observe for suicide caution signs by looking for instant expert aid if we doubt our elders are thinking about committing suicide. The depressed elderly persons may also take an initiative of dealing with their conditions.

Shulman5 argues out that the depressed elderly may choose to use their time in charitable functions, taking care of home animals, cracking jokes and telling tales. In addition, they may engage in frequent exercising to maintain their strength. This may involve regular visitation to gymnasiums and other sporting facilities such as badminton, lawn tennis and even pool centers that are reachable at minimal cost.

Employment of maintenance meetings for depression individuals may also mark an important milestone as far as combating depression amongst the elderly is concerned. It encourages the elderly to bond with other individuals who are going through the same tribulations. It also makes them secure and therefore feel safe to contribute their experiences for guidance and support.

Medical matters that set hurdles to depression must be dealt with as soon as possible. In order to minimize the fatalities associated with depression, it is very important to adhere to the prescribed medications and therapies without any abuse whatsoever. This is the only way of making the world free from any depression related fatalities and making the elderly lead a meaningful life.


It is apparent that the consequences of depression are lethal and it is a noble thing to offer the depressed elderly persons proper medical attention as soon as possible. Antidepressant prescriptions are one of the best and most recommended ways of fighting depression. This prescription may aid in relieving the signs of depression. Another important form of treatment for the elderly suffering from depression is counseling and rehabilitation. Lastly, compassionate counseling for the elderly such as spiritual and peer therapy may be very useful for the depressed.


  1. Alistair B. Integrated management of depression in elderly. United Kingdom: Sage; 2008.
  2. Chapmand D. Depression as a major component of public health for older adults. London: Oxford Publishers; 2002.
  3. Rosangela B. Leisure and aging: Living in the later life. London: Sagamon; 1995.
  4. Pennix B. Exploring the effect of depression on physical disability: Longitudinal evidence from the established populations for epidemiologic studies of the elderly. Am J Public Health. 1999; 89(9):1-12.
  5. Shulman M. Confronting sadness in seniors. New York: Routlegde Publishers; 2007.

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