Depression is a common issue with the aging population, although it is important to remember that growing old does not naturally mean becoming depressed. One of the biggest risk factors for depression with the elderly is the fact that these individuals often have limited mobility and a lack of contact with friends, family, and other social opportunities. This can lower the mood and spirits of the aging person and may cause them to feel depressed at times. This can be avoided by ensuing that your aging loved ones have plenty of social contact and frequent opportunities to mingle and talk with other people. Just getting out of the house or visiting with a friend can help protect the mental health of the elderly individual and keep depression at bay.
An article in Forbes on the aging population and depression shows just how important this topic is to everyone in the community. Robert Laura, a retirement activist, explained in the magazine that “Work creates self-worth, physical and mental exercise, friendship, and sense of belonging. Most of those relationships were tied to the workplace and work functions. They never made plans to hang out or get together after they retired and, now that the work is gone, so is their social network.” This can leave many elderly people socially isolated, especially if they have difficulty driving or getting around freely. Instead of being treated with medications and other medical treatments many seniors may avoid depression just by having the opportunity to socialize and be around other people.