Depression in older adults is very common. It is also very treatable. If you suspect depression, the first step is to have your relative talk with a medical professional. He or she can check for other health conditions. You want to get an exact diagnosis.
Studies show that 60% to 80% of older adults who receive appropriate treatment for depression do feel better.
Antidepressant medication is the most common approach. Things to know about antidepressants:
- Your relative's primary care doctor can write the prescription.
- Costs are typically covered by insurance.
- Today's antidepressants have fewer side effects than in years past.
- It may take 4 to 6 weeks before your loved one feels the full effect.
- Your relative may need to try a few different medications before finding the one that works best.