Seniors who have a chronic illness are more likely to become depressed. Kayla Cook, owner/director of Caring Excellence Personalized Home Care Services, shares what you can do if you suspect your aging loved one is dealing with depression.
“Don’t ignore it, minimize it, or assume it will go away or that it is a natural part of life in the aging population. If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from depression, talk to them about it and offer to go to an appointment with a professional to seek treatment. Assure them that a diagnosis of depression is in fact a medical condition and can be treated just as a diagnosis of diabetes or high blood pressure can, and it is just as important to seek professional help in order to get an accurate assessment of the situation.
“If your loved one is minimizing their symptoms, it may be important to let them know that suffering from depression is not a sign of weakness and that older adults are actually at an increased risk of experiencing depression.
“If your loved one has started an antidepressant, remind them that it can take some time to see a difference in symptoms and that it can even sometimes get worse before it gets better.”