Seniors grappling with late life depression can often suffer in silence. This is a concern, because if left untreated depression can greatly diminish their quality of life. Research shows that depression symptoms among seniors are similar to people of any age. However, those symptoms can manifest differently. According to author Mark Hager, some of the symptoms of depression in the elderly can include the following:
- Loss of interest in activities
- Low self worth
- Frequent thoughts of death; suicide attempts
- Weight loss and/or appetite loss
- Social isolation
- Feeling helpless or high anxiety
- Vague complaints of pain
- Irritability or demanding behavior
- Neglecting personal care
- Memory problems
- Slowed movements or speech
Unfortunately, most seniors do not know where to get the support that they might need. Fortunately, this was not the case for 78 year old Evelyn Burns-Weinrib. During a bout of severe depression Evelyn had given away her belongings and then attempted to commit suicide. Thankfully she was unsuccessful in her attempt. And, with appropriate treatment and counselling, from Baycrest Health Sciences in Toronto, “Evelyn has made great strides in her recovery and is fully engaged in life again”.
In an effort to support others experiencing late life depression, Evelyn successfully collaborated with Baycrest Health Sciences, to develop and launch a new website. This user friendly website “offers information and encouragement to seniors and families affected by late-life depression”. In addition, Evelyn now openly shares her story with others, to help raise awareness about seniors and depression.