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Residents With Depression

Depression is often unrecognized by staff, because it can be masked by other physical and mental illnesses. Many times, the presence of depression interferes with the effective treatment of these illnesses.

Caregivers can begin to assess if residents are suffering from depression by looking at the residents' behaviors, to see if they reflect the following symptoms:

expression of feelings of guilt, worthlessness,
or inability to improve the situation

frequent crying

persistently sad or anxious; feelings of pessimism

loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities; poor personal hygiene

easily fatigued; decreased energy

loss of appetite; significant weight loss; sometimes increase in appetite

difficulty in concentrating; inability to make decisions

sleep problems such as inability to fall asleep, or early awakening

irritability and anger

suicidal thoughts, statements, attempts

recurrent aches and pains that are not responsive to treatment