Senior Matters: Battling Depression

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Around 19 million American adults are affected by depression. It can leave you feeling alone and desperate and with senior citizens it can be much worse.

“There is still life to be lived and loved and enjoyed.” Words to live by and shared by Lasha August the senior activities coordinator at the Richmond August Funeral Home.

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Clinical depression in senior citizens is common. There are six million Americans that are battling late-life depression. It can be hard to detect because often senior citizens are alone and they do not normally show their depression the same way a younger person would. Symptoms of depression can also be associated with medication side effects.

In our modern times, families typically don’t stick by each other as much as they used to and this can have an effect on seniors. “So many people are spread out and it can lend to feelings of disconnection, loneliness, and despair,” said August.

Symptoms of depression can sprout later on in life due to health issues, loss of loved ones, or even loneliness. The loneliness can stem from that loss of a loved one, not only did they lose that spouse or good friend, they also lost social interaction. Later on in life, it can be hard to put yourself out there to make new friends, but it can be very important for your mental health. “When we fight and battle depression it sometimes causes us to want to disconnect and we can’t share what we’ve been given and what we’ve been blessed with. So it’s important to stay connected, learn new skills, meet new friends, and reconnect with old friends.”

Some other things a senior citizen could do to combat depression can be to stay involved in family gatherings, get a pet, play games, and get involved in some of the local senior centers.

Fighting depression is difficult, but you must recognize that you are valuable, your wisdom can give so much, and that you matter.

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