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Differentiating Depression from Dementia: Assisted Living Wichita KS Specialists Can Help

If you are the primary caregiver for a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, you know how much the symptoms can vary. The type and severity of symptoms are may be different from one day to the next, even changing from morning to night.  With all that goes into providing dementia care, you may not even be aware that your loved one may be experiencing depression as well.

According to recent studies, up to 40% of people with Alzheimer’s or dementia also suffer from depression. Sudden changes in mood, disinterest in activities or hobbies, desire to be alone, and physical pain are a few symptoms that are common between depression and dementia. Assisted living Wichita KS professionals, specially trained in memory care, can help you determine whether your loved one’s dementia symptoms are actually signs of depression. [Alzheimer’s Association]

What does depression look like in seniors with dementia?

Depression in seniors with dementia is harder to identify because of the emotional and behavioral changes that dementia brings on its own. Symptoms of both can be very similar. However, assisted living Wichita KS professionals know that in seniors with dementia and depression, their depression symptoms may be less severe and intermittent than a person without dementia.

This means you may not be looking for the stereotypical signs of depression, but rather a sporadic display of symptoms.

How can I help my senior loved one?

Assisted living professionals who care for seniors with dementia full-time can provide better insights and observations because they interact with residents every day for the whole day. If you are spending one afternoon with a loved one who has dementia, the limited time you spend together may not indicate symptoms of depression. For this reason, assisted living Wichita KS  may become the best long term care option.

If you are concerned about your senior loved one having depression, consult with a medical professional right away. While there is not a singular test that verifies a depression diagnosis, a trained medical professional will be able to listen to your observation of symptoms and make a proper plan of care.

For a senior with dementia, a depression diagnosis does not have to be devastating. The overlapping of symptoms can actually make treatment easier! Therapy methods that are successful for patients with dementia can also be beneficial to those with depression. Both conditions can potentially be managed through the same medications, activities, and therapy techniques.

Where can I find help?

Dementia is a degenerative disease that unfortunately does not have a cure. This means that your senior mom or dad’s condition will continue to get worse as time goes on. However, they should not have to sacrifice their comfort and well-being as a result. There are memory-specific facilities and assisted living Wichita KS that are wonderful options for senior care. Many assisted living facilities offer varying levels of care, such as part-time adult day care, that can ease seniors with dementia into their new surroundings.

If you are providing senior care for a loved one with dementia, know that you are not alone. Utilize local resources and expert assistance from assisted living Wichita KS.

To learn more about dementia and depression and how assisted living can help, please call ComfortCare Home of Wichita at (316) 444-0532.

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