It is a very sad fact that there are many elderly people who are depressed. This number seems to have been on the rise for some time. In modern times there is so much to do and so much to see, it is a shame that the elderly are locked within themselves.
Some of the main reasons that elderly people suffer depression are due to lack of company; poor support network and minimal interests outside of the home.
Elderly people may be lonely, they may have lost their life partner and feel lost and alone. Many of their friends may still have their partners and many social occasions are couple orientated.
They may also lack a good support network. When they were working they had their colleagues to run their ideas past, they worked with colleagues on projects, this changes vastly in retirement. Families may have moved away, so visiting and communication may be sporadic and unfulfilling.
Due to illness or lack of interests outside of the home they may be isolated from a once active social life. There are also people who have struggled during their life to make social contact with people and failed, they are the ones that will find it impossible during their later years. Illness brings inactivity, and that in itself can be a big factor in causing depression.
But it should be remembered that sometimes people choose to live in their own and they have always liked to be independent and not rely on other people. But with that independence comes isolation and loneliness as they age and cannot regain the mobility of younger years. They may also be mourning the change not just in their own life but of how the world has changed.
With change and isolation, comes the feeling that nothing is as it was. Change can bring about a feeling of loss and sadness and a feeling of being useless. This can manifest in clinical depression.
As people age, they slow down and become less mobile, not always because of illness. Once they allow themselves to slow down, they lack interest in their surroundings and the people closest to them. They are then vulnerable and dependent which in itself is depression.
For most people, age brings about wisdom, and that is something that can be shared with younger generations. Youth sometimes do not understand the elderly, mainly because they do not have any contact with them. Contact with younger people, would encourage the elderly to form new relationships and interests, from which their mental health would benefit
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