May is observed as National Mental Health Month and Older Americans Month, which presents an opportunity to raise awareness for the behavioral health and wellness of our senior community. According to a recent study by the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 31% of older adults had depression symptoms that significantly impacted their lives and 27% met the criteria for a diagnosis of major depression.
Depression in seniors is more likely to be underdiagnosed and undertreated, most likely due to an antiquated thought that depression is a normal part of aging. In fact, depression can affect anyone at any age and can lead to overall poorer health if left untreated. Depression is common and treatable, and when identified early on, it is easier to reverse the symptoms.
Being able to recognize various signs of depression and identify risk factors will support you or your loved one’s path to better overall wellness. If you feel that you or your loved one may be experiencing symptoms of depression, speak to your primary care doctor who will help coordinate specialized mental health services and a treatment plan.
Mental Health America offers an easy and confidential online depression screening tool that can provide quick insight of your mental health. Additionally, the following are among the most common risk factors for senior depression:
Related: Top 5 FAQs about Depression in Seniors
As we age, it is important to find ways to improve our moods and to help counter the risks of depression. The following six mood boosters can often brighten anyone’s day, reduce stress—and play an especially important role in senior wellness:
For many seniors, loneliness and a lack of social interactions are reasons for considering a move to a personal care, assisted living or retirement community. Do you have questions about Concordia or are interested in how we can help you and your loved one? If so, please contact us any time via our online contact form or by calling our administrative headquarters at 724-352-1571.
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