Back to homepage

Escaping Geriatric Depression: The Happy Parent/Grandparent

Escaping Geriatric Depression: The Happy Parent/Grandparent


Escaping Geriatric Depression: The Happy Parent/



The setting of the sun signals slowing down, resting, and relaxing, literally and metaphorically.

Aging also mellows a person, and retirement can mean saying farewell to a lot of people, activities, and things you hold dear. However, some older people experience sadness and a tendency to isolate themselves, which may be signs of depression rather than natural consequences of aging. If geriatric depression is the culprit, special care and attention from professionals can restore enjoyment of those twilight years.


Aging and Getting Lonely: Is It Normal?

Many elderly people are at risk for geriatric depression. For one, according to the Merck manual, about 29 percent of the 46 million older adults in the United States live alone. Those who have been independent throughout their lives may be contented living alone or in a nursing home/home for the elderly. Not everyone, however, can thrive on their own or living far from their families, particularly those who have raised a big brood.

The elderly may also feel isolated as weakness and frailty overtake them, becoming less active and unable to take part in household chores and family outings. The deaths of their spouses, the passing or fading from the social scene of old friends, and declining health may also make them vulnerable to loneliness.

Becoming elderly brings changes, and possibly geriatric depression. While it is normal for older adults to live less active lifestyles, it should not lead to social isolation or loneliness. Having a rewarding life is possible, even at this stage. When depression interferes with your ability to live life as you want, consider seeing a therapist.


Depression in the Elderly: Do You Recognize the Signs?

Gloom or sadness is the foremost symptom that indicates depression. For the elderly, this can be masked by other feelings or medical issues, like dementia. For instance, if you are in constant pain (perhaps because of arthritis), sadness seems natural. Hence, other hallmark symptoms could be lack of interest in people or things that they used to care for, lack of energy, or low motivation.

Although the usual symptoms of depression can be experienced by the elderly, the risk is increased with certain life events. The symptoms of geriatric depression may occur along with any of the following: “irritability, loss of self-regard, social withdrawal, increased pain, recent illness or surgery, and recent loss.” If any of these is observed, it is best to seek professional assistance right away.


Declining Health: Can It Contribute to Geriatric Depression?

A medical condition can increase a person’s risk of depression, regardless of age. For the elderly, this is more likely, because medical conditions are more often chronic, life-threatening, or incapacitating. “Parkinson’s disease, stroke, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, thyroid disorders, Vitamin B12 deficiency, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, lupus, and multiple sclerosis” are some of the common medical conditions that may contribute to an older adult’s depression.

In particular, dementia has symptoms that can mask depression. The loss of mental sharpness and focus is a sign of depression, just as it is a characteristic feature of dementia; if you recognize these symptoms, seek care from a professional promptly. In addition, taking prescription medicines may have side effects on mood, and older adults are more susceptible to the adverse effects of medications because of less efficient metabolic processes.


Gracefully Surrendering Your Youth

There are things that age will take away from you or your parent. Max Ehrmann advises, “Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.” Surrendering what you have been accustomed to or passionate about can be distressing. However, while aging may mean change, it doesn’t have to bring loneliness or depression.

In the twilight years, despite missing your old job, friends and relatives who have gone ahead, or old hobbies/activities, you can find a new meaning and purpose. There are many reasons to be happy: loving grandchildren, more free time on your hands, and the opportunity to recapture forgotten life goals. With a little help from an independent therapist contracted with Carolina Counseling Services — Pinehurst, NC, you can rediscover your purpose and rise above geriatric depression.

Reaching out can be unusually difficult when depression grips you or your parent. Reconnecting can do wonders. When this isn’t easy to do, start with the first step—call us at Carolina Counseling Services — Pinehurst, NC.


Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Pinehurst, NC

Counties: Moore county, NC, Lee County, Hoke County, Chatham County

Areas: Pinehurst NC, West End NC, Taylortown NC, Seven Lakes NC, Eagle Springs NC, Jackson Springs NC, Foxfire NC, Candor NC, Norman NC, Ellerbe NC, Rockingham NC

Zip Codes: 27281, 27376, 28315, 28347, 28350, 28373, 28374, 28387, 28388, 28394

Kelly ErkenBrack, LCSW

Specializes in: (Ages 3+) Children, Teens, Adults, Couples and Families. Anxiety, Depression, Grief and Loss, Mood Disorders, Trauma, Adjustments and Life Transitions, ADHD, Behavioral Issues, Parenting, Relationship Concerns, Self Esteem
Insurance: BCBSTricare Prime/Select, Medicare and Cash
Credit Cards:  
Location: Pinehurst, NC

Robin Caswell, MSW, LCSW

Specializes in: (Ages 5+), Individuals, Adults, Anxiety, Depression, Grief, Loss, ADHD, ODD, Trauma/PTSD, LGBTQ, Self-Harm, Military Family Life, Mood Disorders, OCD, Phobias
Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare and Cash
Credit Cards:  
Location: Pinehurst, NC

Counseling Information

How Do I Set Up my FIRST Appointment?

  • Call: 910-420-3600 (Fastest way to schedule)
  • Text: (910) 308-3291 (Reply will be via phone)
  • Click here and use our Contact Form (You must include your phone number, because replies will only be made by telephone to ensure security/privacy)
  • Call or Text for your New Patient Appointment Anytime!
  • Appointment scheduling for NEW clients: Mon-Fri 8:30am-5pm
  • Established/Standing Appointments are made directly with your therapist!
  • Referrals: MOST beneficiaries do NOT need a Referral!

Other Contact Info

If you have a compliment, concern or comments please contact:

Contact Management: click here

If you need to speak specifically to the owner Click here and use our Contact Form

Carolina Counseling Services – Pinehurst, NC

45 Dowd Circle Suite 5
PinehurstNC 28374

Our Mailing Address:

PO BOX 9909
Fayetteville, NC 28311