If you are interested in doing everything possible to avoid or postpone different types of dementia, including Alzheimer's Disease, then it is important to take a multi-faceted approach to keeping your brain as healthy as possible. If you have elderly parents or other relatives, you may want to apply some of this research to their care, too. They will be happier, healthier and easier to care for if their brain is functioning well, which will make life easier for you, as well.
Symptoms of Depression in Senior Citizens
Younger adults may show signs of depression if they appear to be sad, exhibit a loss of interest in their favorite activities, are agitated easily, or have angry outbursts. While seniors can have the same symptoms of depression, they may also have symptoms which are not always identified as indicators of depression. Watch for the symptoms listed below:
Physical aches and pains which are unexplained
Either the loss of appetite or overeating
Isolation ... a desire to stay home most of the time
Suicidal thoughts, especially in older men
Dwelling on thoughts of death
Medical Treatments for Depression and Anxiety
If you or a family member is experiencing the above symptoms, you should report the symptoms to a doctor right away. The sooner depression is treated, the less damage it will do.
A doctor can make sure there is not an underlying medical issue causing the symptoms.
A doctor can prescribe an antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication.
A doctor may also recommend a therapist; talk therapy usually does help, especially when combined with medications.
How to Help Yourself with Depression and Anxiety
There are also actions you can take on your own to lessen the depth of your depression and anxiety, but you should do these things in addition to seeking medical help, not instead of it. Remember, not only do you want to improve your mood, but you also want to reduce your risk of Alzheimer's Disease and other types of dementia.
Learn relaxation techniques such as deep breathing.
Get plenty of exercise and spend time in the sunshine and fresh air, when possible.
Take classes in yoga, Tai Chi or similar relaxing forms of exercise.
Practice mindful meditation.
Try journaling; writing about your problems can reduce depression.
Depression is closely linked to dementia, although it is not the only factor. Maintaining a generally healthy lifestyle will also reduce your risk. Check out the articles in this blog explaining all the ways you can lower your dementia risk. No one wants to lose their memory at the end of their life, if they can avoid it.
If you want to learn more about common medical problems as we age, retirement planning, where to retire, Social Security, Medicare and more, use the tabs or pull-down menu at the top of the page for links to hundreds of additional articles.
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