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It isn’t easy for families to see loved ones age, and making the decision to place a loved one in a long-term care facility is seen as one of the last steps in the journey and one of the most difficult ones to make. As family members, we tend to deny the fact that our loved one will grow old, or we tend to hold onto the belief that they will get better. But the reality is, aging and death are inevitable and are beyond human control. When making this decision, it is important to realize there are risks associated with life in a long-term facility.

  • Depression involves the body, mind and thoughts. It affects the way an individual eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things.
  • 18.8 million American adults suffer from a depressive illness.
  • Medical illnesses such as strokes, heart attacks, cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, and hormonal disorders can cause depressive illnesses.
  • Many individuals have the mistaken idea that it is normal for the elderly to feel depressed. Unfortunately, they often dismiss depression as a normal part of aging.
  • Depression in elders, undiagnosed and untreated, causes needless suffering for the individual and the family.
  • Depressive symptoms occur in about 15 percent of seniors living in the community, and up to 25 percent of nursing home residents.

Symptoms of Depression

  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Weight loss
  • Social isolation
  • Chronic complaints
  • Sadness / anxiety
  • Memory loss

Risk Factors Associated with Depression

  • Serious loss
  • Medical illnesses
  • Medications
  • Change in life patterns
  • Financial problems or stresses
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