There is a lot of research surrounding dementia and Alzheimer’s. There is a list a mile long of factors that could contribute to these cognitive disorders; family history, diet and exercise, etc.
A new study has found the depression could also be added to this group of possible contributors. Depression in the elderly has already been linked to social isolation, poor health and increased risk of death. Now the British Journal of Psychiatry has published a report analyzing 23 previous studies conducted over the span of five years. Researchers found that older adults (age 50 and over) who are depressed are more than twice as likely to develop dementia and 65 percent as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease as their similarly aged counterparts, who were not depressed. The belief is not that depression causes dementia, but that it contributes to the degeneration of the brain.
Whether or not these findings have significance on determining the cause of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and depression are both common in older adults. They can have many of the same symptoms, including memory problems. Other signs are slow speech and movements and lowered motivation to perform daily activities. Home care clients and those living in a nursing home or other facility are at a slightly higher risk for depression. This may be due to negative feelings about health issues or being disconnected from friends and family. Often reliance on others for health and personal care can lead to feelings of lowered self value.
You can use the following list of symptoms to determine if it is one or the other:
If treated properly, depression can be overcome and the person’s memory and energy should return to normal. For these reasons, a home care agency may be a great solution to make sure careful care and supervision is being provided to your loved one.