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Check in with older adults

Depression is often unreported in older Americans.

Over two million Americans over the age of 65 struggle with some form of depression.

Older adults experience stressors common to all age groups but are more likely to experience additional challenges such as mobility issues, chronic pain, loss of independence, social isolation, loneliness, and financial decline after retirement.

Everyone needs social connections to survive and thrive. As people age, they often find themselves spending more time alone, which can lead to social isolation and loneliness, according to the National Council on Aging. Social isolation and loneliness can impact health, physically and mentally, leading to increased anxiety or depression.

Depression is often unreported in older Americans. It is also a significant predictor of suicide among adults 65 and over in the U.S., who account for 20% of all suicide deaths, according to Mental Health America.

Families and friends who notice signs of depression in a loved one—sadness, increased feelings of worry, restlessness, or misuse of substances —can offer their support by trying a few things:

  • Talk to them about what you have observed and your concerns
  • Make plans to spend time with them by doing activities they like
  • Engage them in physical activity, such as a walk
  • Let them know they can seek help from a professional
  • Help set up appointments or attend group meetings with them

“As we age, we often encounter new challenges, such as loss of mobility, that we have little control over,” said Dr. Thomas Wright. “Depression may often be overlooked as a part of these changes, but it is a treatable condition that can be improved.”

Those who want to begin treating their depression can start by contacting the Rosecrance Access team at 866.928.5278. Additionally, veterans struggling with depression can seek relief with Rosecrance’s team of experts through the Veterans Affairs Community Care Network.


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