The following press release was submitted by Caring Companion Home Care.
“The amount of unrecognized, untreated, unrelieved depression I see all the time among elders, well, it’s enough to make me depressed some days,” said Deborah Bier, PhD, director of the Concord office of Caring Companion Home Care. “Despite the fact that seniors receive a lot of medical care, they’re not being adequately screened – and treated – for this life draining problem.”
Recognizing how widespread depression is, a national conversation will be begin next month about depression and aging. Caring Companion and the nonprofit National Private Duty Association (NPDA) will host a consumer education web conference entitled Depression and Older Adults – What Every Caregiver Should Know on March 13, at 8 p.m. EST (7 p.m. CT).
The live and interactive program will provide advice on how family caregivers can work with professionals to identify this condition and develop an effective plan of care for a loved one with depression. Caregivers will learn how to identify key issues and problems, locate needed experts and resources, and outline a plan to provide the best care for a parent. The event is free of charge and anyone can participate.
Contrary to widespread belief, depression in later years is not something that should be considered par for the course. Bier points out that it’s important to understand that some symptoms of depression in an aging population – especially where there may be one or more chronic physical illnesses – may look a little different, and require different intervention, than depression in younger people.
“Both families and health care providers often have trouble broaching this topic with elders in a way that isn’t stigmatizing,” said Bier, who holds a doctorate in therapeutic counseling. She has spent more than 20 years working with people of all ages with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities. “Having a far-reaching, fact-based national exchange about depression and aging is an important step in removing the embarrassment, and making the subject more approachable. It will be up to every community to keep that discussion going.”
The event’s expert presenter is Steven C. Fox, D.O., Medical Director, Wellspring Personal Care. For the past 30 years, the primary focus of Dr. Fox’s clinical practice, teaching and research has been on the care and treatment for the elderly and disabled. He has been a trend-setter in the area or geriatric and Alzheimer’s care since the mid 1970’s. Dr. Fox provides hands-on consultation and oversight for families to assess a loved one's limitations and capabilities and create a plan of care that will enable the person to stay in his/her own home. Dr. Fox was the founder of Wellspring Gerontological Services in Chicago in 1985. He is an active member of several medical associations addressing aging and health issues.
The web conference topics include diagnosis of depression, association between depression, anxiety and memory loss, understanding which medications are safe and effective, along with resources and tools for monitoring treatment and improvement. For local participants, Caring Companion will also provide follow-up information via email.
Pre-registration for the event is required. Sign up today by visiting the registration link at www.CaringCompanion.net/depression
Caring Companion Home Care is headquartered in Concord, MA, and provides private personal care, homemaking, companionship and transportation to those living at home and in facilities. The NPDA is the first and only association in the United States dedicated exclusively to private pay home care providers. The NPDA, a nonprofit organization, currently represents more than 1,300 home care agencies in forty-four states and Puerto Rico.