Chronic conditions and pain that are prevalent in older populations can cause depression. Learn to identify the symptoms of depression in elderly patients, including: inability to get out of bed due to lack of energy, feeling sad or empty, lack of interest in previously enjoyable activities, weight loss without dieting or weight gain, inability to sleep, feeling worthless, idealizing death (especially suicide with a specific plan). A major depressive episode is characterized as having 5 or more of these symptoms and can be difficult to identify by an external person without having the individual with depression reporting them. Asking questions about how a person is feeling and what the person did that day can be helpful to figure out if there's something physical preventing the person from enjoying life or if it's something mental.
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