Senior Depression During the Holidays

December 12th, 2012

The holidays are known for being a time of joy and celebration with family and friends for most people but for some older adults, they represent sadness, stress and depression.

Though depression is not a “normal” part of aging, it is very common later in life. It is estimated that nearly 6 million seniors will battle depression. Of those, only about 10 percent will receive treatment.

Why do so few get the help they need? Many experts cite the vague nature of the symptoms of senior depression, which can often be attributed to other illnesses or age-related changes. Some of these symptoms include fatigue or a change in sleep habits, lack of concentration and weight loss.

Another reason that senior depression goes untreated in seniors is the stigma that can be associated with seeking help from a psychiatrist, counselor or therapist. Seeking treatment for depression or other mental health issues may be perceived as a sign of weakness, especially among older generations. Instead, one should view it as an opportunity to cope with loss, health problems or family conflict.

The Center for Senior Renewal is Here to Help

This is where the Center for Senior Renewal can come in to play for many older adults who are dealing with depression. Naeem Qureshi, M.D., psychiatrist and medical director at the center, says the center offers an intensive outpatient program that allows seniors to maintain their independence, while at the same time get the help they need.

Patients can be referred to the program by anyone; even a self-referral will be accepted. Initial evaluations are usually conducted in a person’s residence followed by an assessment at the Center for Senior Renewal. Dr. Qureshi will work with the patient’s primary physician, as well as the staff at the center, to develop a treatment plan designed to meet the specific needs of the individual. The cost for the program is covered by Medicare and most secondary and commercial insurance health plans.

Learn More About Depression in Seniors and Older Adults

St. Joseph Memorial Hospital | 618.684.3156, ext. 55130
Visit the center online

To learn more about “Dealing with Depression During the Holidays” register for the Second Act class presented by The Center for Senior Renewal Program Director, Deborah Pardee. Dec 13 3pm–4pm. Call 1.877.480.4040 to RSVP.