6 Symptoms of Geriatric Depression and How You Can Help

6 Symptoms of Geriatric Depression and How You Can Help


Geriatric Depression – also known as old age depression, or depression of the elderly – is a silent, often unrecognized culprit that affects a significant number of aging adults. Although constant sadness is part of aging, elderly depression is not. Identifying the signs and symptoms of depression among old people can help families and caregivers administer appropriate aid. Here are five warning signs to look out for if you’re suspecting a family member or a patient is suffering from geriatric depression.

Constant Sadness

A common symptom of elderly depression is constant feelings of sadness. If your aging family member or patient has been sad for long periods of time, it’s time to assess their emotional state. Watch out for constant tearfulness, loss of interest to communicate, and neglect of self-care.

Avoiding Social Activities

One warning sign that your loved one is suffering from old age depression is withdrawal from social activities. If the person you care for seem to avoid activities that used to bring them enjoyment, take time to check on them. Withdrawal from family and friends can also be a tell-tale sign of undiagnosed depression.

Somatic Complaints

Somatic complaints – one common sign of geriatric depression – is characterized by a person’s extreme and almost obsessive concern with their physical health. Somatic symptoms may be in the form of fatigue, body pain, dizziness, and fainting. A person’s anxiety triggered by these concerns can be too much that it can interfere with their daily ways.

Loss of Appetite

Montefiore Medical Center’s Director of Geriartric Psychiatry, Dr Gary Kennedy, said that “loss of appetite can be an early sign of depression or a warning of depression relapse.” Loss of appetite among old people can be caused by a variety of reasons ranging from bad dentures to depression. However, if a person’s loss of appetite runs for weeks, it’s time to check their emotional state.

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