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Dementia and Depression: What You Need to Know

Dementia and Depression: What You Need to Know

Some types of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease, appear to have a complex relationship with clinical depression. If you have an aging loved one in the family, it’s helpful to write down all the signs and symptoms you’ve noticed as the days pass. Every few weeks, take a look at your records and see if there is a pattern that might indicate psychological disorders like depression or anxiety. Discuss your concerns with your loved one’s doctor and the individual’s caregivers at the senior care community.

Relationship Between Dementia and Depression

Alzheimer’s disease appears to have a two-way relationship with depression. First, individuals with a lifetime history of clinical depression appear to have a higher risk of dementia. This is particularly true if they did not seek treatment for their depression. Second, individuals who have a type of dementia like Alzheimer’s appear to have a higher risk of depression. Furthermore, untreated depression in an individual with dementia may make certain symptoms of dementia worse. These include confusion and forgetfulness.

Signs of Depression in Seniors

Seniors with dementia may exhibit a wide range of symptoms that may indicate depressive disorders. These can include behavioral changes, such as lack of interest in eating. Agitation and increased time spent sleeping are other possibilities. Other changes may include anxiety, negative comments or thought patterns, frequent worrying, and weight loss.

Treatment Strategies for Seniors with Depression and Dementia

It can be challenging to help seniors with Alzheimer’s disease maintain a high quality of life. First, talk to your loved one’s physician. If the physician diagnoses your loved one with depression, then he or she may decide that antidepressants are an appropriate treatment modality. Next, look for possible causes of depression that you can address. Isolation is a major problem for many seniors, but this may be addressed by moving your loved one to a welcoming senior community, where he or she can make new friends.

Families near Hudson, WI who are looking for senior care services for their loved ones can visit Red Cedar Canyon Senior Living Community. They offer independent living, assisted living, and memory care within a comfortable, home-like environment. You can call their office at (715) 381-7333 with your questions.

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