Call our knowlegeable team today


Depression in Older Adults

Aging Benefits Advisory Depression in Older Adults

Depression is a real issue with older adults, and it’s much more common than many people think. Watch for the signs and seek help if you suspect you or a loved one is suffering.

While the physical risks and issues common in aging adults are fairly well-known, much less information is available about their mental health. Unfortunately, depression is a very real risk for older adults, so it’s important to watch for some signs or symptoms that something may be wrong and seek help for yourself or a loved one if you think depression might be an issue.

Higher Risk

Older adults are at higher risk of suffering from depression—but why?

  • According to the CDC, 80% of older adults have at least one chronic illness, and 50% of older adults have 2 or more chronic illnesses. Managing an aging body, along with several physical ailments and illnesses, can be exhausting and very mentally draining. Health conditions can also limit older adults physically, which can lead to depression.
  • Older adults know other older adults. They spend time with their spouses, partners, friends, and in some cases, parents. Unfortunately, losing a loved one becomes a more frequent experience for many older adults. While many will find ways to cope, others will struggle to adjust and could begin to suffer from depression. The same is true for older adults who are taking care of their aging parents—watching someone you love decline in health while you care for them is a huge burden on the mind and body.

It’s important to note that depression in older adults is often misdiagnosed, according to the CDC. The reason for this is that older adults undergo many changes and struggles, and their depression is often assumed to be a normal response to these problems. In fact, many older adults don’t seek help because they also believe they are going through normal bouts of sadness. If you’re uncertain or you suspect that it’s more serious, be sure to seek help.


There is an extensive list of symptoms that signify depression. Something to keep in mind is that depression is a different experience for everyone. It often causes significant, noticeable changes in someone’s demeanor and mannerisms as they simply do not feel like themselves and struggle to feel normal. Sometimes we need the help of loved ones to determine if we might actually be depressed and need help, as they will take note of significant changes in our mannerisms or personality that could signal a bigger problem than simple sadness or stress.

Some common symptoms of depression can include, but are not limited to:

  • Finding no joy or pleasure in activities that used to be enjoyable
  • Being irritable or feeling restless
  • Sleeping issues—insomnia, excessive sleeping, early-morning wakefulness
  • A change in appetite—overeating or not wanting to eat
  • Difficulty with maintaining concentration and decision-making
  • Feeling hopeless or pessimistic
  • Feeling guilty or worthless
  • Physical aches and pains that don’t respond to treatment
  • Thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts


If an older adult is suffering from chronic depression, it is best to seek out professional help. This is usually done with therapy and may or may not be combined with antidepressants depending on how severe the depression is.

Most therapists and psychiatrists will look for ways to help you without the immediate intervention of prescription drugs, so don’t avoid getting help if you’re afraid they’ll just try to throw more pills at you. Some older adults will find ways to deal with their depression through activities that are proven to improve mental health, such as physical exercise and regular socialization. Antidepressants are typically reserved for those who try non-medicinal interventions for a period of time without a successful result (how this is handled will depend on your circumstances and who you’re working with—make sure you like who you’re seeing!).

We are not mental health professionals, and this blog is not intended to be a tool for the diagnosis of depression or any other mental health issue. If you suspect that you or a loved one may be suffering from depression, please seek professional help.

If you are in a moment of crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 to get the help you need.

Contact Aging Benefits Advisory Today!

If you need help navigating the world of senior health insurance, our advisors at Aging Benefits Advisory are here to assist. Take advantage of our free consultation to ensure that you receive the plan for your budget and needs. We specialize in Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplements, Dental, Vision, and Final Expense insurance for the senior market of Pinellas County, Pasco County, Manatee County, Hillsborough County, Polk County, Sarasota County, Citrus County, and Marion County, Florida. If you would like a free consultation, contact us online or give us a call at 727-800-4835. For more information, follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 28th, 2023 at 7:12 pm. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.