Depression is Not a Normal Part of Growing Older

Depression is a true and treatable medical condition, not a normal part of aging. Depression is not just having “the blues” or the emotions we feel when grieving the loss of a loved one. Someone who is depressed has feelings of sadness or anxiety that last for weeks at a time. It is a true medical condition that is treatable, like diabetes or hypertension.

How is Depression Different for Older Adults?
– Older adults are at increased risk. Approximately 80 percent of older adults have at least one chronic health condition, and 50 percent have two or more. Depression is more common in people who also have other illnesses (such as heart disease or cancer) or whose function becomes limited.
– Older adults are often misdiagnosed and undertreated. Healthcare providers may mistake an older adult’s symptoms of depression as just a natural reaction to illness or the life changes that may occur as we age, and therefore not see the depression as something to be treated. Older adults themselves often share this belief and do not seek help because they don’t understand that they could feel better with appropriate treatment.

If you are concerned about a loved one, offer to go with him or her to see a health care provider to be diagnosed and treated. GRMC is here to help.

The GRMC Heritage Program for Seniors is an outpatient program, which provides comforting and supportive counseling services in individual, group and family therapy sessions. Common conditions include prolonged periods of sadness, anxiety or unresolved grief.

As part of the Heritage program, GRMC provides a transportation service for those who have difficulty getting to and from appointments. Our two vans are handicapped accessible and equipped with wheelchair lifts.

For more information about the Heritage Program for Seniors, please call 830.401.7428.