Many people who have depression know something is wrong, but they don't know what to do about it. Holy Redeemer HomeCare, through the LifeAssess Program, offers valuable services to persons with depression and their caregivers. Depression is sometimes accepted as a normal part of aging. This is a myth. On the contrary, most older people feel satisfied with their lives.
Depression in the elderly, undiagnosed and untreated, causes needless suffering for the family and for the person who could otherwise live a healthy, positive life.
Often in a matter of weeks with treatment, even the most seriously depressed person can start to feel better and return to a happier and more fulfilling life. Such an outcome is a common story even when a person feels hopeless and helpless.
Several months ago, I had my knee replaced. After surgery and inpatient rehab, I was walking with a walker. When I returned home, I found it was really hard to get back into my normal routine. I became frustrated and upset. I found myself crying for no reason, and this made me even more upset. I was tired all the time, yet I wasn't sleeping well at night.
As time went on, it seemed like I was getting worse instead of better. Nothing seemed to be fun anymore. Even when my knee was getting better, I still found that it was really hard to get out of bed in the morning. I just wanted to hide under the covers and not talk to anyone. I didn't feel like eating much, and I started to lose weight. I knew I had to keep going because I lived alone. My kids helped when they could, but their lives were busy with their families. It just felt so impossible, like nothing was going to change or get better.
My home physical therapist asked me if I was feeling sad. I told her I was. After all, I am over 85. What could I expect? She said it was not normal for me to feel so sad for so long, no matter what my age. She encouraged me to talk to my doctor.
My doctor diagnosed me with depression, and she sent out a Mental Health Nurse from Holy Redeemer HomeCare. The nurse worked closely with my doctor to treat my depression. Because of this intervention, I am still at home, independent, and feeling like myself again.