Aging and adaptation

 
 

Everyone feels sad or blue sometimes.  It is a natural part of life. But when the sadness persists and interferes with everyday life, it may be a depression illness.  Depression is not a normal part of aging.  It is a treatable medical illness, much like heart disease or diabetes.


Depression is a serious illness affecting as many as 15 out of every 100 adults over 65 in the United States.  It affects a much higher percentage of people in hospitals and nursing homes.


Depression is a medical illness that must be treated by trained professionals.  Untreated depression may last months or even years, and may lead to serious consequences, including worsening psychiatric and medical illnesses, suicidality, debility and death.

 

Depression is not A Normal Part of aging

Many stresses and problems can occur in later life.  Changes and losses are common.  However, most older people are able to cope and adapt, and go on with their lives.  Older people are survivors, who have dealt with many stressors throughout their lives and have learned many coping strategies which can help them in later life.

One of the important ways, older people adapt is by maintaining relationships with family and friends.  Ongoing relationships with older people enrich the lives of all the people involved.

Last Revision August, 2015

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