Friday, November 14, 2008

Watch for depression in the elderly - Know the signs, step in if necessary

Experts are quick to say that depression isn't a normal part of aging, nor is it a sign of weakness.

But older family members who suffer from the condition may need your help to overcome those misconceptions and get treatment.

"In the elderly community, there is a lot of stigma still about depression and anxiety," said Dr. Greg Jicha, a neurologist at the University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging. "People are very hesitant to seek out any kind of help for these sorts of things."

Jicha believes it's important for relatives to be alert to signs of depression in older people to help restore joy in their lives and keep them from entering nursing homes too early. He recommends raising a red flag with primary care physicians, who may otherwise miss the signs.


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