Unraveling the Link between Dementia & Depression

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According to a study published in the journal Neurology, depression is, at the very least, a risk factor for dementia. The extensive study involved nearly 2,000 participants with an average age of 77 who had no signs of dementia when the study began. At the conclusion of the study, about half of the participants exhibited some memory problems. Here’s some additional information about this study to provide insight into the link between depression and dementia. 

High Levels of Depression Noted before Diagnosis

Researchers reported a higher level of depression in many of the participants before they were diagnosed with dementia or a more specific dementia-related condition. Surprisingly, the study noted that participants diagnosed with dementia didn’t become depressed, with some seniors actually becoming less depressed post-diagnosis. A community-based study (Monongahela Valley Independent Elders Survey) of more than 1,300 participants in Pennsylvania showed similar results. 

Caring for a loved one with dementia or another form of cognitive decline can be challenging for family members. Families who need help caring for senior loved ones can turn to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of homecare. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.

Depression as a Result of Diagnosis

It’s understandable that people with dementia may become depressed, especially in the early stages when they’re aware of what’s happening and develop knowledge of what may occur at later stages of their condition, although simply being depressed doesn’t automatically mean someone will develop dementia-related conditions. Research does, however, emphasize a need to maintain mental alertness and emotional wellbeing with age and address issues such as depression as early as possible to boost overall health. 

If you have a senior loved one who needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of home care Columbus families can trust. Our caregivers help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and we offer mentally stimulating activities that can boost cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. 

Treating Depression Early Can Have Multiple Benefits

Regardless of the mixed results of the study, there are still many benefits when it comes to recognizing and treating depression as early as possible. Keeping depression—beyond what’s considered a healthy or statistically reasonable amount of occasional depression—in check can also enhance an individual’s outlook on life and lead to healthy eating and exercise choices that can serve the person well as he or she ages. 

Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional dementia care. Columbus families can rely on Assisting Hands Home Care to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life. To hire a dedicated caregiver, call Assisting Hands Home Care today.