“The more of life we live, the more likely we are to experience times of sadness and grief.”
The purpose of my Catalyst Conference is to raise awareness, among individuals within families, that older adults face an increased risk for depression and going without diagnosis and treatment. My commitment to this project comes from interacting with individuals within the elderly community. When I began delivering prescriptions for older adults in elderly care facilities, they’d often tell me about their family leaving them, being all alone, not wanting to be on medications and proceed to hide what I delivered in the bathroom.
What symptoms look like as described through a scenario:
Audio of scenario:
List of depression symptoms in older adults:
- Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and/or helplessness
- Irritability, restlessness
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable
- Fatigue and decreased energy
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details and making decisions
- Insomnia, early–morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
- Overeating or appetite loss
- Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
- Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not get better, even with treatment
Call to Action:
What can we do as individuals in our family and in the community? Go out and interact with the older adult population in your community! Social isolation is a factor we can influence. Volunteer at assisted living facilities where you can lead/participate in classes that range from painting to aerobic exercise! For those in your family, spend time with them and ask how they feel. Play cards, watch a movie, find activities that interest them (this can range from volunteering together to going on walks.) And show what you’ve done to interact and catalyze change within your family and community by posting a picture on twitter at #supportwithage.
If you do notice that a loved one is depressed, treatment is an option! But that first begins with an honest conversation. It may seem scary but approach from a place of concern and care. Encourage them to seek therapy and engage/spend time with them.
“CBT (cognitive-behavioral therapy), in older adults, result[s] in greater reduction in worry severity and depressive symptoms, and improvements in general mental health.”
“In older adults, the combination of CBT with antidepressants (desipramine) results in a greater response rate than treatment with medication alone.”
Information on CBT and finding treatment:
Visual diagram with steps:
If you have questions or want to become engaged in your community, one great resource is https://www.sunriseseniorliving.com/about/volunteer.aspx or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
End of conference poll: