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Seniors & Depression: Know the Signs

Seniors & Depression: Know the Signs

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates just over 15% of seniors aged 65 and older experience the effects of depression. Age does not predict the onset of depression as not all seniors develop depression; however, depression is more common among seniors who already have other conditions, such as heart disease. Seniors, family members and health care providers alike often attribute the symptoms of depression to aging or to an illness, making it less likely that seniors receive treatment for their depression. Although overlooked, it is possible to alleviate the emotional troubles affecting elderly loved ones.


Identifying depression in senior loved ones starts with familiarizing oneself with their routine, noting changes in behavior or proficiency in completing activities of daily living (ADL). Seniors affected by depression may avoid social environments, eat too much or too little, or experience drastic changes in sleep cycles. Internally seniors may feel hopeless, become irritable or restless, have less energy or lose interest in the activities they once enjoyed. Any one of the symptoms above does not mean a senior has depression, nor is it an exhaustive list of depression symptoms. However, learning a few signs of depression equips friends and family members with knowledge to help seniors in their lives.


Although it is impossible to control others’ health or how they feel, there are ways to show love and care to loved ones. As a family member or friend of a senior, simply asking how he or she is doing and truly listening is a great way to show empathetic concern. Rather than diagnosing the situation or giving directives, encourage loved ones’ to share their thoughts and ask more questions to clarify information.


Listening to seniors’ concerns is central to Heritage Health skilled nursing facilities’ approach to senior health care. Heritage Health advocates for senior-centered care, committing to deliver care that reflects each resident’s wishes. In order to deliver appropriate skilled care, Heritage seeks the input of each senior staying in our skilled nursing facilities.


Heritage skilled nursing facilities can be a beneficial environment for seniors with depression. Our qualified care teams are experienced in senior health care and the toll depression takes on the senior population. Heritage Health offers numerous activities to facilitate fun, social opportunities critical for treating depression. Seniors and family members can rest assured knowing all residents at Heritage Health skilled nursing facilities receive around-the-clock nursing care, professional dietary services and access to top-level pharmacy services.


Although discussing depression with elderly loved ones may be challenging, communicating respectfully and compassionately through the difficult conversations speaks volumes of one’s love and devotion. The Heritage staff is happy to speak with seniors and family members about senior depression and discuss ways families can support their elderly loved ones. Turn to Heritage Health for senior therapy and health care support.

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Monday, August 19, 2019

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Heritage Operations Group is proud to provide the senior population in Illinois with rehabilitative therapy services, skilled nursing care, specialized Alzheimer’s and dementia care, assisted and supportive living, independent living and pharmacy services.


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