Depression in Elderly

Medical textbooks commonly say the term late-life depression includes both aging patients whose depressive disorder presented in earlier life and patients whose disorder presents for the first time in later life. Depressive illness in the older population is a common and extremely serious health concern that is associated with other accompanying disorders, loss of functioning, extreme use of health care resources, and increased death rate which may be caused by suicides. 

Depression in the elderly is not a normal process of aging. It is important to clarify how it is defined by medical doctors. Sadness and grief could present in any of us after a bad experience, trauma, loss of a spouse. Depression occurring in the course of adverse life events is termed “reactive depression” and felt to be an expected result of stress or trauma. Clinical major depression should be assessed as a high-priorty medical condition regardless of life precipitants because treatment can matter for those. 

Depression is commonly misunderstood in society. People may assume depression is self-treatable but the situation seems to be more critical than that. If a person has diabetes, it is perfectly normal to go see a doctor regularly and get help. However, it is still common in some cultures to think that help is not needed. World Health Organization reported that the burden of depression and other mental health conditions is on the rise globally. The taboos should be broken and depressed people should get treatment.

sad and happy faces

Depression in Elderly Women

Just like all age groups, depression is detected in women more frequently. This is statistically correct and women do have more liability for depression, along with greater persistence of depression after its onset. However, recently published medical literature claims that this could be artificial due to how depression is being defined and expressed. Men are more eager to exhibit anger, irritability, loss of pleasure, and alcohol abuse, making unable to acknowledge sadness and psychological symptoms.

Elderly and Depression Support Organisations

Social and community participation is very important in terms of improving cognitive function by interacting with people. ADACare works with you choosing the activities you attend to depending on your personality. We try to create social groups and organise trips, going to a pub or a restaurant, exercising, or whatever support you need.

ADACare provides services like domestic care, in-home nursing, therapeutic support, seeking to advance self-esteem, have a better mood, thus avoiding depression. Sydney has a lot of attractions for its visitors and residents. Whatever activity you choose to attend, we will help you and support your entire day. The activities include the followings:

  • Whale watching
  • Sea Life Sydney Aquarium
  • Exploring the Royal National Park
  • Seeing the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney
  • Sydney Markets
  • Sydney Zoo
  • Sydney Ferries
  • Comedy or Theatre
  • Musicals or Cinemas
  • Classes or Workshops
  • Eating and drinking
  • Fitness classes and Yoga
sad old woman

Post Surgery Depression in Elderly

There is evidence that after surgeries the pain may cause depression and depression decreases the threshold for pain. Having depression after surgery results in incomplete recovery. There are varieties of surgical interventions that may cause depression. For example, depression and anxiety are commonly presented after coronary bypass surgeries and increase the likelihood for new coronary adverse events. Within a year after bariatric surgery, the concern of not preserving the loss of weight as previous months could lead to depressive disorder. 

When the body experiences depression, the immune system gets depressed as well, leading to infections after surgery. It gets harder to produce killer cells enabling the fight with microorganisms. The first approach is to define it as clinically depressed. It is commonly associated with cognitive impairment and loss of interest which is an alarm for the health care workers and loved ones.

How To Deal with Elderly Depression

While dealing with depression, taking into account other medical conditions is necessary. Doctors decide the treatment individually, as every person may present differently. Antidepressants are the most common treatment method, they aim to achieve full remission generally used for 6 to 12 months. The medical data suggest that psychotherapy is very useful but an underestimated therapy for the elderly. 

Except for medical interventions, family support plays a huge role in fighting depression and its consequences. Family members should be involved in the treatment, getting the appropriate education of signs and symptoms of depression. The family may be able to reveal some troubles the person may not have recognised.

Elderly and depression support in Sydney, NSW

Get in contact with us today to get professional elderly and depression support. Call us on 02 9232 7055 to reach our NDIS support providers and approved carers.