Depression is not normal part of agingDepression is a real and treatable medical condition, not a normal part of aging.
By: By Mary Krueger, senior liaison, Alexandria Echo Press
Depression is a real and treatable medical condition, not a normal part of aging. Older adults are at an increased risk for experiencing depression.
If you are concerned about a loved one, offer to go with them to see a healthcare provider to be diagnosed and treated.
Depression is not just having “the blues” or the emotions we feel when grieving the loss of a loved one. Someone who is depressed has feelings of sadness or anxiety that last for weeks at a time.
He or she may also experience the following:
• Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism.
• Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and/or helplessness.
• Irritability, restlessness.
• Loss of interest in activities or hobbies.
• Fatigue and decreased energy.
• Difficulty concentrating, remembering details or making decisions.
• Insomnia or excessive sleeping.
• Overeating or appetite loss.
• Thoughts of suicide.
• Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems that do not get better, even with treatment.
Older adults are at increased risk. We know that about 80 percent of older adults have at least one chronic health condition and 50 percent have two or more. Depression is more common in people who have other illnesses.
Older adults are often misdiagnosed and under treated. Some health care providers may mistake an older adult’s symptoms of depression as just a natural reaction to illness or life changes that occur as we age.
The good news is that the majority of older adults are not depressed. Major depression is diagnosed in less than 1 percent to about 5 percent of the older people living in the community. This does rise as people require home health care and hospitalizations.
If you are concerned about a loved one, offer to go with them to see their health care provider.
Grand Casino Mille Lacs. The March 29 bus is full, but we have arranged for another trip on Tuesday, April 8. Cost is $20 per person and you will receive $20 on a Player’s Card when you arrive. Bus leaves Kmart at 9 a.m. and returns at 5 p.m. Call Mary at (320) 762-3047 to reserve your spot.
Spring Mystery Tour on Thursday, April 24. Cost of $68 per person includes attractions, lunch and transportation. Bus leaves Kmart at 6:15 a.m. Call Mary at (320) 762-3047 to sign up.
Watch for Free Educational Sessions for Seniors starting Monday, April 7 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Douglas County Extension Meeting Room.
April 7 – Healthy Eating for Seniors and Cooking Tips for one to two people by Sharon Bisson, Douglas County Extension Office.
April 14 – Having Trouble Hearing? presentation by Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services of Moorhead, sharing what’s new in equipment.
April 21 – Questions and Answers on Long Term Care Insurance presented by local insurance agents.
April 28 – Falls Prevention – how to stay right side up and Weapons Against Fraud.
May 5 – Get Your Ducks In a Row: What your family needs to know if something happens to you.
May 12 – Are You Turning 65? Medicare and Social Security questions.