Treatment for depression is often a combination of treatments and methodogies for aging seniors. Sometimes there are underlying health conditions, such as thyroid problems or a vitamin deficiency, which can be identified and medicated. Usually, an effective treatment plan encompasses psychotherapy, review of lifestyle changes, and/or appropriate medications. No matter what the patient’s age, it’s important to identify the best plan of care.

Properly prescribed medications can help restore and maintain the chemical balance in the brain. However, medication is not the only treatment for depression. Research points out that counseling, and therapy, are viable options for treatment of depression. Personally, I would also add an increase in social stimuli for elders. Sitting home, alone and bored, is a depressing lifestyle condition for many seniors.

Further research indicates that treatment options can have an age bias. That is, while prescribed drugs are relatively safe for younger people, they can have negative side effects for seniors — especially those who are already taking drugs for other conditions.

It is important to investigate the benefits of counseling, support groups, regular exercise, spending more time with others, therapy, and improved nutrition for the elderly.

– John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. He can be reached at: (781) 378-2164; email: ; or online at: