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depression

The Biggest Senior Mental Health Issue Today

As parents and grandparents age, many adult children (and seniors themselves) fear that their loved one will be diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s, enduring years of cognitive decline and ultimately death as a result of the crippling disease. When we think of mental health issues in seniors, Alzheimer’s and dementia is at the forefront of our thoughts, conversations, and research. However, there is another silent killer that poses the biggest threat to senior mental health–– depression. Depressive disorders are the top mental health issue faced by seniors today, said gerontologist Patrick Arbore, EdD, director of the Center for Elderly Suicide Prevention…

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Catching the Signs of Mental Illness in the Elderly

mental illness in the elderly

When Laurie became mentally ill, she remained blissfully unaware. She saw no reason to doubt her own sanity based on interactions with her daughter and grandchildren, who visited once a week. They treated her like they always had, and responded to her in the usual ways. Eventually, she started noticing that it took a bit more effort to make sense of the news every night. One afternoon, despite her best efforts, she couldn’t finish that newspaper crossword puzzle she had been doing for the last 15 years. But that was because she was 82 years old! And when she stopped…

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Avoiding Holiday Depression

The holiday season is often referred to as “the most wonderful time of the year,” but for many, joy is hard to find. Depression in seniors is especially prominent around Thanksgiving and Christmas due to a variety of factors. Physical reasons, like shorter days, colder weather, and physical impairments that keep seniors from participating in holiday activities, and emotional reasons like loneliness, missing deceased loved ones, and wishing for happier holidays gone by.  Even the expectation that one is supposed to be especially joyful this time of year can trigger sadness and depression. “The holidays are a time of tradition…

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