What are the symptoms of depression for older adults? Does depression increase the risk of developing a dementia? What is the impact of other chronic conditions such as diabetes?
It is important for us to recognize these signs of depression in our older relatives and friends (“Depression in Older Adults”).
- Loose of interest socializing or in hobbies
- Worries about being a burden, feelings of worthlessness
- Slowed movement or speech
- Neglect of personal care such as skipping meals, forgetting meds, neglecting hygiene
- Lack of motivation and energy
- Weight loss or general loss of appetite
- Sadness or feelings of despair
- Sleep disturbances, issues falling asleep, staying asleep, or beginning to sleep at different times
It is important to incorporate meaningful activities and interactions into the lives of older adults. NursePartners has two company divisions dedicated to offering individualized companion and care services to older adults living in Philadelphia, Montgomery, Chester, and Delaware counties. By involving your loved ones in meaningful activities early, you may stave off a development of a dementia, especially if the older adults are already dealing with chronic conditions such as diabetes.
In a population-based study of 2.4 million adults in Denmark, depression and diabetes were independently associated with greater dementia risk. The combined association of the two disorders had a higher association with the risk of developing a dementia than the aggregate effects of the two dependent variables individually.
Covariates included martial status and its possible effect on depression and general health.
According to the study, “during the first year after depression, the associated hazard of all-cause dementia was elevated by nearly seven-fold”. Additional periods of depression decreased the risk of developing a dementia in comparison to the first year but left the overall hazard ratio dementia risk rate about twice as high as those without depression (See Figure 1).
This is a link to the full study, “Impact of Depression and Diabetes on Risk of Dementia In a National Population-Based Cohort”.
Other studies have focused on the singular impact of depression on dementia. To learn more, consult the authors’ reference list in the study cited above.