Depression in Seniors

Senior citizens face a number of challenges that you and I may not have considered. When you are young and in good health, life seems easy and challenges are easily surmounted. However, as we age, both our mind and body slow down, which can make tasks that were previously simple much tougher. That additional burden, combined with physical changes that make us seem less attractive desirable, can lead to crippling depression.

While depression is common in senior citizens, many do not receive the proper treatment they require to overcome it.

Health Impacts

It is widely accepted that depression lowers one’s quality of life, but it can also negatively affect physical health. Studies show that depression in the elderly can lead to an increased risk of death following a major health event like a heart attack. When we are depressed, we tend not to take proper care of ourselves, even though that is just what we should concentrate on in the wake of a major health scare. As with other age demographics, depression also increases the likelihood of suicide.

Social Isolation

When we feel down, we are less likely to spend time with friends and family, even though such interaction would likely help make us feel better. Seniors have an increased challenge here as decreased mobility and placement of some in old age homes makes it difficult to get out and about. That can make social interaction less infrequent and more dependent on other parties to maintain such a connection.


Lack of sufficient sleep can both lead to depression and be a common by-product of it. When we feel tired and out of sorts, everything about life seems tougher and that makes it more difficult to function day-to-day. Improper amounts of sleep can also cause health problems, which in turn either lead to depression or can increase it.

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