Dealing with depression in seniors
Depression can tarnish the golden years. But recognizing symptoms and finding help can restore the glow.
Increasingly, health professionals are recognizing that depression among older adults is a serious problem that needs to be treated. They’re also recognizing that adult children are often oblivious.
“Younger people, including younger medical personnel, often don’t notice it,” says psychologist Bob G. Knight, associate dean at the Andrus Gerontology Center at USC. “When they do, it doesn’t surprise them. They think: â€˜They ought to be depressed, they’re old.’ So instead of helping the person deal with it, they ignore it.”
But depression isn’t normal at any age, experts say. Most older people are satisfied with their lives, even when confronted with health problems or the loss of friends or a spouse. They grieve, but they bounce back..