According to the National Institutes of Health, about seven million senior Americans aged 65 and older suffer with depression. Over two million of these seniors suffer from major depression while the remaining five million are affected by less severe forms that are easily overlooked. Medical experts say the depression is linked to a multitude of reasons including loneliness, losing loved ones, and loss of independence.
"Get out as much as you can, and if you can't, try to stay in touch. Have your grandchildren teach you how to use the Internet, pick up the phone, make some cookies," said Dr. Dennis Ziemba of Bellin Health.
Doctors say some signs of depression in the elderly include irritability, forgetfulness, poor personal hygiene, and loss of appetite.