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The Link Between Depression and Diet

There are many reasons why we should be concerned about depression in the elderly. 

 Many older people are at a greater risk of depression, and still many of them do not want to seek help and do not want to be a burden on their families. Depression is not a sign of getting older or linked with the dying process, so seeking mental health advice and help should not be seen as a weakness.

Although some elderly people live on their own, many do have their family and friends nearby and are most likely to pick up changes in behavior that may suggest the onset of depression and diet changes. If you notice an elderly relative who is not eating or is losing interest in doing activities that used to interest him or her over a couple of weeks, then it could be a sign of depression.

 Eating properly. Young or old, it is important to discuss how we feel and whether an elderly person is eating properly. As we get older, there are things we cannot do that we used to, including cooking or providing nutritious meals on a budget. Think about your elderly relative or neighbor and ask them how they are. Try to be on the lookout for depression in the elderly. 

Diet and mood. Our dietary intake changes as our mood changes. It is often much harder for us to cope with changes in life as we age, so even simple things that change can have a huge impact. At the other end of the scale, loss and bereavement can be particularly difficult to accept and can lead to feelings of despair. It does not have to be the loss of a loved one either; the death of a companion pet dog can be just as devastating to deal with. These events can lead to depression and diet problems. An elderly person not wanting to eat or not having the same desire for life, as they had previously, can easily lead to depression in the elderly.

Research has shown that there is a link between depression and diet in the elderly. Eating more carotene (found in carrots), carbohydrates and vitamin C may help to lower the symptoms of depression.

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