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Managing depression over age 65

Depression affects more than 19 million Americans every year, regardless of race, gender or age. Depression is not a typical part of the aging process, but it can occur when other health conditions are happening and, in general, aging can be hard.  

I've had older patients living with depression and anxiety who are struggling with an injury that makes activities feel impossible. Symptoms of depression can be overlooked and go untreated when they coincide with other medical illnesses.  

Isolation is one of the greatest concerns for those over 65. Even the most social person can become isolated, especially when depressed. Group therapy can provide a support system and a place to connect to others.  

Studies show everyone enjoys time with peers; and as much as we enjoy our parents, children and even our partners, we also all like to spend time with others who we feel "get us." Little kids like playing with other little kids, and teenagers like to spend time with other teens. The same is true for older adults, too. Not only are these interactions enjoyable, but we need them to stay happy and healthy.  

Here are other ways to feel engaged in life:  

  • Get outside: Try not to stay cooped up at home all day. Take a walk, run errands or have lunch with a friend.
  • Volunteer: Helping others is one of the best ways to feel better about yourself and expand your social network.
  • Take care of a pet: A pet can keep you company, and walking a dog, for example, can be good exercise for you, and a great way to meet people.
  • Learn a new skill: Pick something you've always wanted to learn, or something that sparks your imagination and creativity.
  • Create opportunities to laugh: Laughter provides a mood boost, so swap funny stories and jokes with your loved ones, watch a comedy or read a funny book.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

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