Depression is not a normal part of aging

Depression is not a normal part of aging. You don’t have to “put up with it”. Depression is a serious illness-just like diabetes. Expecting positive thinking to cure depression is like expecting a person with diabetes to lower his blood sugar by thinking happy thoughts.  Depression is a medical problem that affects many older adults and can be successfully treated.

Depression can impair an older adult’s ability to function and enjoy life, and can contribute to poorer overall health. Compared to older adults without depression, those with depression often need greater assistance with self- care and daily living activities and often recover more slowly from physical disorders. 

The most common and effective treatment for depression is a combination of therapy and medication, but some people may benefit from just one form of treatment. Worrying about health insurance costs should never be a barrier to treatment. Medicare and other insurances do cover mental health care.

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of depression, seek professional help immediately. If you or someone you know is in crisis and would like to talk to a crisis counselor, call the free and confidential National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 

Get help when you need it. It’s never a weakness to ask for help. Know that you can always come to the housing social workers or nurses for help.

A quick, easy and confidential way to determine if you may be experiencing depression is to take a screening.  It is not a diagnosis, but can help guide you to getting help.

Choose the best answer for how you have felt over the past week:

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 new things? YES / NO 

10. Do you feel 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 pretty 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

 

Count up the Answers in Red. A score greater than 5 is suggestive of depression. Take this to your doctor for further follow up

 

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