On paper, depression and dementia can look an awful lot like each other. In fact, your aging family member might even be worried that she's developing dementia when she's actually only depressed. Understanding and recognizing the difference between the two is essential. If you're still in doubt, make an appointment with your senior's doctor.
Depression Shows up More Quickly
Depression seems as if it has a slow build, but it's really much more rapid of an onset than an illness such as dementia. Dementia can develop so very slowly that you and your aging family member might not notice what is happening for quite some time. Depression is something that you're more likely to notice in the earlier stages.
Dementia Is Disorienting
When your aging adult is faced with dementia, she's more likely to be confused and disoriented. Because of the memory issues associated with dementia, she's likely to forget important information or to become lost in familiar locations. Depression, on the other hand, does not affect your elderly family member's ability to pinpoint her location in terms of both time and physical location.
Language Skills Can Be a Clue
Your elderly family member might have difficulty communicating when she's depressed, but it's likely to be a slower form of communication. She might also be reluctant to communicate at all, such as neglecting to return phone calls. But in the case of dementia, your elderly family member might forget how to read or write. She might even develop trouble talking or understanding what you're saying to her, making phone conversations more difficult.
Does Your Senior Notice She's Having Memory Issues?
When an elderly family member is suffering from dementia, she's not always aware of the fact that she's having memory issues. In some cases, she may not even seem to be affected by the fact that she's having memory issues. A depressed elderly family member, on the other hand, is definitely going to notice and be upset about any lapses in memory.
If you or your elderly family member is concerned about the likelihood that she's developing dementia, make an appointment with her doctor to talk about the situation. It might be time for a full assessment to find out what is going on.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Williamston, MI, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Lansing. Call today: 517-332-9953.