Depression is one of the most common mental issue people face. It affects over 18 million adults in the US in any given year. We usually think of it as a condition only the younger generation struggles with. But the truth is that depression hits anyone of any age, even the elderly.
The majority of the elderly don’t have depression. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a problem worth looking into. A 2012 book by the Insitute of Medicine mentions that about one in five older adults has at least one mental health and substance use condition.
Although psychotherapy for the elderly with depression is still a relatively untouched area, plenty of people are working on studies, research, and technology for this area. That means elderly adults have some access to professional help.
In this article, we’ll go over two giant leaps in psychotherapy for depressed elderly people. One is understanding that it truly does work, debunking myths that it’s “useless” for people higher up in age. Two is knowing that the type of psychotherapy depends on their medical and mental history.
2 Facts About Psychotherapy For Depression In Elderly People
1. Psychotherapy for the elderly does work
Many people might say it’s no use for elderly people to seek professional help because it won’t work. They’ll say that they’re too stubborn or set in their ways. Some might even say it’s pointless because they don’t have enough time.
Well, there are a lot of accounts by professionals that say otherwise. An entire article on Psychotherapy.net debunks these myths. It uses examples by true practitioners in the field to support the idea that psychotherapy is also for the elderly.
2. Selecting the type of psychotherapy
Not all treatments are the same, and there are certainly different approaches in psychotherapy. Perhaps people say it doesn’t work on older people because they aren’t getting the kind fit for their situation.
A 2017 study mentions the benefits of choosing the right type of psychotherapy based on a comprehensive assessment of the patient’s “psychiatric, medical, functional, and cognitive status.”
It also mentions “tailoring psychotherapy to the settings in which older depressed adults are most likely to present.”
Depression is 1% to 5% likely to occur in the elderly living in the general community, 11.5% in those hospitalized, and 13.5% in those who need home health care.
What Can You Do For An Elderly Person With Depression?
1. Seek professional help
There’s only so much you can do to help them cope with their mental health disorder. Sometimes, an intervention for depression in the elderly is needed.
Encourage them to see a professional and help them see how life-changing that can be.
2. Promote a sense of purpose
Older people tend to lose a sense of purpose in their lives. That can make the struggle with depression that much harder.
Giving them back their sense of purpose can help stave off feelings of worthlessness and depression. You can motivate them to take up a hobby or reignite their passion for an old one.
Tasking them with small chores may also work. Knowing they are still capable of helping around may lift their moods.
3. Encourage social interaction
No matter the age, depression is a lonely condition. Even if they are surrounded by people who love them, they may still feel alone. They may even push these people away.
This is even tougher for older people because they’re usually surrounded by people much younger than them, whether it’s orderlies or family. Although being visited by people important to them is vital or they may feel like something is missing.
Being around people like them, not only in terms of age but also with interests and stories, can help make them feel less alone. So, encourage them to socialize. You can show them social activities, like yoga, gardening, or a club, with people closer to their age. These activities can even be fun for them.
4. Push them to be physically active
Being physically active is key to keeping your mind and body healthy, even for older adults. Light and gentle exercises like walking help seniors stay in great physical, mental, and even emotional shape.
An active and healthy lifestyle helps prevent illnesses, both acute and chronic. These illnesses are one of the causes of depression in the elderly.
You can also suggest doing these workouts in a group so other people can surround them. Sign them up for classes like tai chi or yoga. These are excellent ways to make friends.
5. Make them feel loved
As people get older, it’s easy to think they are forgotten, even by family. This can lead to depression.
The best way to keep them from feeling this way is to make them feel loved. Even small things go a long way. Visit them in their homes, listen to their stories, ask them for advice, hug them, give them gifts, and don’t make them feel like a burden.
Depression may be common in younger people, but it also hits the elderly. While not so common, older adults are still very much affected– and it may even hit them harder. Luckily, with continuous studies and research, there are more and more advancements in psychotherapy for the elderly with depression.
It’s never too late to get help. You can find peace with us. Start your healing journey with people equipped with skill and compassion to help you. You can visit us at 3939 Atlantic Ave Suite 102, Long Beach, CA 90807, United States. You may also contact us at 562-203-0567 or go to our website rootstms.wpengine.com.On your recovery journey, consider CBT therapy and choose Roots TMS. Start your healing journey with people equipped with skill and compassion to help you. You can visit us at 3939 Atlantic Ave Suite 102, Long Beach, CA 90807, United States. You may also contact us at 562-203-0567 or go to our website rootstms.wpengine.com.