Seniors and Depression

By August 23, 2012Senior Care News

Seniors and Depression

By

The American Journal of Psychology published an article which linked factors such as bereavement, sleep disturbance, disability, prior depression, and female gender as important risk factors for depression among elderly people.
Caregivers, be it family or paid, are on the front line of care and are usually in the most opportune position to observe symptoms of depression.  There are many seniors who quietly suffer through the debilitating effects of depression and are oftentimes left undiagnosed.  Knowing what signs to look for is the first step to helping a loved one receive the help they need.  Cultural and generational barriers are also factors that get in the way of help.  For years, there has been a certain level of stigma attached to mental health diagnosis, a senior person may feel ashamed or afraid to communicate their concerns fearing labels, or placement in an institutional setting. Your primary care physician is the right person to discuss your concerns with.  She/he may also refer to a geriatric specialist for further testing.

Call our office today for more information on the subject or for home care services in general:609-450-1719.


Scoring Instructions
Instructions:

Score 1 point for each bolded answer. A score of 5 or more suggests depression.


1.


 


Are you basically satisfied with your life?

yes


no


 




2.


 


Have you dropped many of your activities and interests?


yes


 



no


3.


 


Do you feel that your life is empty?


yes


 



no


4.


 


Do you often get bored?


yes


 



no


5.


 


Are you in good spirits most of the time?

yes


no


 




6.


 


Are you afraid that something bad is going to happen to you?


yes


 



no


7.


 


Do you feel happy most of the time?

yes


no


 




8.


 


Do you often feel helpless?


yes


 



no


9.


 


Do you prefer to stay at home, rather than going out and doing things?


yes


 



no


10.


 


Do you feel that you have more problems with memory than most?


yes


 



no


11.


 


Do you think it is wonderful to be alive now?

yes


no


 




12.


 


Do you feel worthless the way you are now?


yes


 



no


13.


 


Do you feel full of energy?

yes


no


 




14.


 


Do you feel that your situation is hopeless?


yes


 



no


15.


 


Do you think that most people are better off than you are?


yes


 



no


A score of > 5 suggests depression


 




Total Score



 



Ref. Yes average: The use of Rating Depression Series in the Elderly, in Poon (ed.): Clinical Memory Assessment of Older Adults, American Psychological Association, 1986

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