More than 6.5 million Americans aged 65 and older are dealing with depression on some level, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). For some, these feelings of sadness and despair did not appear until later in life. In spite of this, NAMI says that for most older people battling depression, it has been an ongoing struggle for quite some time.

Depression is not “just part of growing old”

Many people associate feeling depressed with normal aging. This seems reasonable as a person’s health or living arrangements change, and family and friends pass. These situations might bring sadness, but depression is different. Depression is never “normal”, even in aging adults. It does happen though, and The National Institute on Aging (NIA) says there is one cause that stands out for older adults: isolation.

If adequate supports and resources to accommodate an elder’s changing needs are provided, this debilitating mental health condition can be avoided. If depression is understood, it can be identified and addressed before it becomes a life-threatening situation.

Learn more about depression, different types, indications, effects, and prevention strategies by clicking or tapping the tiles below, .

Tips for Isolation-Induced Depression

Learn the differences between isolation-induced and other types of depression

Identify signs of depression in older adults

SigOther systems effected by depression

An older woman sits by a bright window with downward gaze

Tips for preventing and relieving Isolation-Induced Depression