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The Cottages Blog

Valuable Information for Caregivers and Loved Ones

Mental Health Awareness Month: Depression and Dementia

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and we would be remiss if we didn’t take some time to discuss how mental health issues can affect those living with dementia and their caregivers. Depression is commonly associated with Alzheimer’s. Experts estimate that up to 40 percent of people living with Alzheimer’s disease suffer from significant depression. Identifying depression in someone living with dementia or Alzheimer’s isn’t always easy, but it’s important that family and caregivers keep an eye out for the symptoms of depression and seek help if they suspect their loved one may be depressed. Many symptoms of Alzheimer’s mimic the symptoms of depression, such as apathy, social withdrawal, isolation, difficulty concentrating, and loss of interest in activities. Someone with dementia who is also suffering from depression may experience sadness, hopelessness and guilt, among other feelings, but they will often find it difficult to articulate these feelings due to cognitive impairment as a result of the dementia. Depression in someone with dementia may be less severe, or have symptoms that come and go. No matter how severe, if you notice any signs of depression in your loved one, discuss them with your loved one’s primary care provider. Diagnosis and treatment of depression can be especially helpful and may improve your loved one’s ability to function and overall sense of well-being. Talk to your loved one’s doctor about getting a referral to a geriatric psychiatrist who specializes in diagnosing and treating depression in senior adults. Diagnosing Depression in Alzheimer’s According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in order for a person with dementia to be diagnosed with depression, he... read more

Hospice Care: Understanding Your Options

As a caregiver of someone who is living with dementia, you will experience a variety of different care options at the different stages of your loved one’s disease. In the beginning, you may be able to provide care for your loved one in his or her own home.

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