Caregiver Resources - Depression

Depression is not just “feeling blue” or “down in the dumps.”  It is not just being sad after a loss.  It is not an ordinary part of aging.  Depression is a medical disorder — just like diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease — that requires attention.  Day after day depression affects thoughts, feelings, physical health, and behaviors.(2)

For seniors living in the community, it is estimated that 5% to 10% will experience a depressive disorder that is serious enough to require treatment. And the rate of anxiety and depression dramatically increases to 30% to 40% for seniors living in institutions.

Most people with depression (over 80%) respond well to treatment and achieve a complete and lasting recovery.  90% will NOT seek out the help they need or their depression will be missed or ignored, denying them beneficial treatment for mental health problems.(1)  The longer treatment is delayed; the more difficult depression is to treat.  Remember, depression is not caused by personal weakness, laziness, or lack of will power; it is a medical illness that can be treated. 

References

1.  Mood Disorders Society of Canada.  Retrieved Feb. 2014 from:
     www.mooddisorderscanada.ca

2.  Robinson, L., Segal, J. & Smith, M. (2014) Depression in Older Adults & the Elderly
     Retrieved Feb. 2014 from:   
     http://www.helpguide.org/mental/depression_elderly.htm