Four Differences Between Depression and Dementia

Caregiver Olney, MD: Depression and Dementia
Caregiver Olney, MD: Depression and Dementia

One of the biggest concerns your elderly family member might keep coming back to is whether she’s developing dementia or not. This can happen even when normal memory lapses happen, no matter how innocuous they seem. Depression affects the brain and memory, too, and that means that sometimes depression can seem a little bit like the early stages of dementia at first. 

If Your Senior Is Worried about Her Memory, it Might not Be a Problem 

An interesting conundrum occurs when your elderly family member is worried about her memory or about small memory glitches she’s experiencing. If she’s focusing on her memory issues and she’s worried about them, she may not be dealing with dementia. Depression and other health issues can create trouble with memory, too. If your elderly family member truly does have dementia, she’s far less likely to realize that her memory isn’t working well or that she’s experiencing any cognitive differences. She’s more likely to be resistant to that idea. 

Your Senior Is More Likely to Be Confused with Dementia 

Confusion is a big part of dementia, too. Your elderly family member may have difficulties with issues like time and place. She’s also likely to forget important information. When your elderly family member is experiencing depression, she’s not necessarily going to lose track of where she is or situational information around time, both in terms of clock time and calendar time. 

Communication Problems Are One Symptom to Watch For 

Communication can be another skill that gives you some valuable insights. If your elderly family member is depressed, she may be choosing not to communicate but she’s still able to do so. With dementia, it’s possible that your elderly family member experiences other communication difficulties, like forgetting how to talk or how to write.  

Depression and its Symptoms Don’t Always Have a Slow Onset 

Dementia is a slow-moving illness for most people. The signs of dementia can be subtle and it can take a while to start to suspect what’s going on. Depression can have a much faster onset, making it a more acute situation to manage. Depression can also have situational causes that make it far more likely to be a factor in whatever is going on for your senior. 

Understanding the differences between depression and dementia help you and your senior to get the help that she needs the most. As her caregiver, you’re more likely to see some of the fine distinctions in those behaviors. 

If you or an aging loved-one is considering a Caregiver in Olney, MD please contact the caring staff at Just Divine Home Care Agency today at (301) 219-1585. 

Contact us today to learn more about our Maryland home care services.