What is Geriatric Depression? (2/2)

What is Geriatric Depression? (2/2)

Part 2 is all about how to support an older loved one who is depressed, as well as how Geriatric Depression is treated. 

How can you help a loved one suffering from Geriatric Depression?

Depression is a medical disorder that needs medical attention. While family and friends can assist in the search for treatment, they are unable to address a person's depression. Here are some things you can do as a friend or family member of someone who is depressed:

  • Encourage the individual to seek medical attention and follow the doctor's plan of care.
  • Assist in scheduling medical appointments or accompany the individual to a support group or doctor's office.
  • Participate in the activities that the person enjoys, like if the person wishes to take a stroll or ride a bike. Physical activity has been shown to improve mood.

Exercise has been shown to lessen depressive symptoms in both healthy older people and those who have been diagnosed with serious depression. Exercise has been proven to enhance depressed patients' subjective quality of life in physical dimensions, with higher doses of physical exercise being related with bigger benefits in both mental and physical domains. According to this study, physical exercise coupled with antidepressants in depressive individuals resistant to antidepressant medicines therapy should be regarded with attention, given the cheap cost, advantages to global health, and tolerable risk to elderly patients.

It's critical to keep an eye out for signals of depression or suicide. Don't be afraid to speak about whether a family member or acquaintance is depressed or suicidal. It may be an unpleasant topic, but it is necessary. Whether you ask someone if they're thinking about suicide, they're not more likely to act on such ideas. Your inquiries may inspire the individual to get therapy by allowing them to speak up about how they've been feeling.

How is it treated?

A mental health specialist will analyze a person's symptoms by looking at their family history, mood changes, behavioral changes, and daily routine to see if they have geriatric depression. Other factors to examine while investigating elderly depression include grieving over the loss of a loved one, diminished mobility, retirement, financial difficulties, drug misuse, and dread of dying.

Treatment for mental health disorders in older adults begins with a thorough assessment to rule out any underlying medical or biochemical causes of the mental disease. The treatment team strives to organize each patient's care, keep family members updated on progress, and communicate with the family physician. Family members must be educated and counseled on what to expect, how to address their own emotional needs, and how to offer the best care possible for their loved one.

There is help for elderly depression that may consist of changes in lifestyle, medication, and therapy. While some people need a combination of all three, others will need a variation of the three to alleviate the symptoms. Some patients will need antidepressants and therapy while others may be successful at relieving depression by changing diet, exercising, getting a healthy amount of sleep, finding new interests, and socializing to help pacify the manifestation of geriatric depression.

A skilled mental health professional like a family therapist who is familiar with issues affecting the elderly such as depression and a high risk of suicide, may assist the suffering older adult as well as the family, in dealing with the problem and its numerous issues.

Partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs are only some of the treatments that Solstice Pacific can provide to your elderly loved one. These programs will be tailored to the elderly population to ensure that they will receive the treatment that is most appropriate for their age and diagnosis. 

This provides all of the benefits of acute inpatient care without the need to spend overnight in the hospital. This is quite similar to a highly organized, short-term inpatient hospital program. It's a more intensive form of outpatient day treatment or psychosocial rehabilitation - this can be utilized as a bridge between more intensive kinds of treatment and less intensive forms of treatment.

On the other hand, Intensive Outpatient is a short-term outpatient program for older adults. This program serves as an alternative to inpatient care or inpatient hospitalization. Mental health services from these programs will be delivered by multidisciplinary teams led by the patient’s psychiatrist.

These programs provide flexibility and freedom without sacrificing the benefits of traditional hospitalization treatment. The older loved one can still be cared for at their own home and they will still have ample time to spend with their loved ones. This will also promote independence for the elderly population since they can continue with their routines at home. 

MeRT (Magnetic e-Resonance Therapy) is one of Solstice Pacific's newest mental health services. This takes care of the chemical imbalances that mental illness causes. Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is being used with integrative psychiatry to take the technique to a new level. MeRT is an unique, FDA-approved, non-invasive method that combines magnetic transcranial stimulation with electroencephalogram (EEG) to deliver personalized comfort while improving brain function. The location and degree of stimulation vary between each patient and is individualized. The majority of sessions run between 30 and 45 minutes. Patients often feel better after five sessions, although cognitive and behavioral improvements can be felt and noted after three months. MeRT is a painless operation with few adverse effects, even in youngsters. MeRT helps to reset and retrain your brain waves by delivering magnetic stimulation to specific parts of your brain. This is an alternative therapy that can help some people reduce or perhaps stop using their medicine. It can help prevent the need for youngsters to start taking medication.

According to one study, brain exercises have been demonstrated to be useful in treating depression in older persons who are treatment-resistant and have failed to respond to antidepressant medication therapy. These mental activities have been demonstrated to enhance not just mood, but also the often-unaddressed cognitive deficiencies associated with elderly depression. Some of these mental exercises include:

  • Puzzles - Puzzles may help with mental wellness as well as relaxation. Additionally, puzzles are simple to include into one's daily routine and may be enjoyable to accomplish alone or with company. Crosswords, Sudoku, and jigsaw puzzles are just a few of the puzzles available. Puzzles may also be a relaxing activity for older people who are dealing with mental health difficulties such as depression.
  • Crafts - Crafting may aid in the reduction of anxiety, the treatment of depression, and the creation of a general sense of well-being. Being able to complete a project provides older adults a sense of accomplishment and purpose.
  • Music - Music may help you express yourself, improve your attention, and improve your memory and alertness. Music may be utilized as a mental exercise in a variety of ways, including learning new song lyrics and playing an instrument. Singing may be beneficial to the mind on its own, bringing social, emotional, and cognitive advantages. 
  • Writing - Not only can writing activate brain cells, but it can also help with memory and intellect. What you choose to write is totally up to you. You can keep a record of your everyday activities, write poetry or stories, or write letters to family and friends. Even if it's only making a grocery list, you're activating and developing aspects of the creative brain.

Let Us Help You

Most people in the geriatric population who suffer from depression are unaware that they have a treatable mental illness. Cognitive, behavioral, and physical symptoms can be clear cut indicators of the bigger picture - geriatric depression. 

Mental health services for the elderly should be prioritized more. It is important to keep an eye on the warning signs and call immediate assistance as soon as you see one. These signs of crisis should not be overlooked and they should be dealt with urgency and care. 

We will provide you with quality mental health services to help you with your problem. If you are in need of professional help, do not hesitate to contact us through our website or call us at (949) 200-7929. 


  1. Conwell, Y., Van Orden, K., & Caine, E. D. (2011). Suicide in older adults. The Psychiatric clinics of North America, 34(2), 451–ix. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psc.2011.02.002 
  2. Crestani, C., Masotti, V., Corradi, N., Schirripa, M. L., & Cecchi, R. (2019). Suicide in the elderly: a 37-years retrospective study. Acta bio-medica : Atenei Parmensis, 90(1), 68–76. https://doi.org/10.23750/abm.v90i1.6312
  3. Ghesquiere, A., Shear, M. K., & Duan, N. (2013). Outcomes of bereavement care among widowed older adults with complicated grief and depression. Journal of primary care & community health, 4(4), 256–264. https://doi.org/10.1177/2150131913481231
  4. Mura, G., & Carta, M. G. (2013). Physical activity in depressed elderly. A systematic review. Clinical practice and epidemiology in mental health : CP & EMH, 9, 125–135. https://doi.org/10.2174/1745017901309010125 
  5. Morimoto, S. S., Altizer, R. A., Gunning, F. M., Hu, W., Liu, J., Cote, S. E., Nitis, J., & Alexopoulos, G. S. (2020). Targeting Cognitive Control Deficits With Neuroplasticity-Based Computerized Cognitive Remediation in Patients With Geriatric Major Depression: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Controlled Trial. The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 28(9), 971–980. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jagp.2020.05.023

Related Articles