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Coping With Depression

By Janet Crozier
(Page 3 of 3)  

Additionally, major insurers such as Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, offer Medicare coverage options with access to mental health counselors. A senior’s doctor can prescribe antidepressant medication as a supplemental treatment, if appropriate.

Caring For a Depressed Senior

The first step in helping an elderly person who seems depressed, experts say, is making sure he or she gets a complete checkup, since their depression could be a side effect of a pre-existing medical condition or a medication. If their physician recommends a psychiatrist or psychologist, the senior may need reassurance that an evaluation is necessary to determine if treatment is needed.

And while most people suffering from depression welcome support, some may be frightened and resist help. Should an elder friend or relative be potentially suicidal, mental health counselors say it’s imperative to actively intervene – by removing pills or weapons from the senior’s home if need be, and calling a mental health professional or family physician for assistance.

“Help is available, and often the biggest obstacle is encouraging the senior to accept it,” says Montgomery. “Don’t give up on your senior if you feel they’re struggling.”


Janet Crozier has more than 30 years of experience working with older adults.  Ms. Crozier holds a Graduate Certificate in Aging and Adult Services and is a Certified Senior Advisor.  She has served on Northeast Florida Area Agency on Aging’s Board of Directors for many years and has been recognized nationally for her service to Medicare beneficiaries by the federal Medicare program.  Currently, Ms. Crozier is a full time Senior Educator with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida.


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