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Depression and Senior Citizens: What You Need to Know Part 1
Depression and Senior Citizens: What You Need to Know Part 1

Not all ailments are physical. In fact, 14% of baby boomers -- or one in seven -- said they were being treated for depression according to a 2015 Gallup poll. That rate is higher than any other generation of American adults.

Oftentimes, those suffering from non-physical illnesses are uncomfortable talking about their struggle, which might even prevent them from seeking therapy and getting the help they need.

This two-part guide is designed to help you better understand how depression can affect Medicare-aged individuals, and what they can do to combat the illness.

Part one will focus on risk and detection.

Risk Factors for Depression in Seniors
Many people who suffer from depression have lived otherwise healthy and pleasant lives. This is, in fact, part of why a stigma has developed around depression and other mental illnesses. Still, there are some things that have shown to increase the risk that you should bear in mind:

·       Physical disability

·       Changes in environment

·       Medication

·       Poor Diet

·       Loss of a loved one

Signs of Depression in Medicare Aged Individuals
While everyone feels under the weather from time to time, there is a serious difference between feeling sad for a day or two and depression. Whether you think you might be struggling with depression or you're a concerned caregiver, there are a few signs to be on the lookout for.

Persistent sadness: As we mentioned before, there is a difference between a bad couple of days and depression. That said, if the bad mood or sadness persists beyond two weeks, then you should strongly consider speaking to a therapist.

Withdrawing: Are you or your loved one suddenly not feeling up to large group gatherings or even intimate get togethers? A sudden change in the way you interact with the world should be a clue that something is wrong.

Lethargy: While slowing down might be a natural part of aging, if you or your loved one has suddenly started feeling too tired to get out of bed and carry on everyday routines, then there is cause for concern.

Irrational Guilt: Guilt is a useful emotion, and one directly tied to a sense of right and wrong and empathy. But if you or a loved one feels compelled to apologize for, and overreact to everything, then there might be something worth exploring with a professional.

Depression is a serious issue for many seniors. While certain things can help you prevent depression, like practicing a healthy lifestyle, it often will require medical assistance. In the next part of this series, we will talk about treatment and what Medicare Supplement insurance plans may be the best fit to help you combat depression.

Banker's Fidelity offers Medicare Supplement Insurance plans in states across the country. If you need help choosing a health plan or deciding which is the best Medicare Supplement for you, contact us today.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/181364/reports-depression-treatment-highest-among-baby-boomers.aspx?utm_source=CATEGORY_WELLBEING&utm_medium=topic&utm_campaign=tiles

Disclaimer: Neither Bankers Fidelity Life Insurance Company® nor its Medicare Supplement policies are affiliated with or endorsed by the U.S. Government, the federal Medicare program, or the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This is a solicitation of Medicare Supplement insurance and an independent agent may call on you. 

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