Tips for Combatting Depression in Those with Dementia


Out of the estimated 5.4 million people with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, approximately forty percent suffer from depression and its debilitating symptoms. Usually, depression occurs in the early and middle stages of Alzheimer’s, when symptoms are beginning to present themselves and the individual has to learn to cope with the cognitive changes they’re experiencing.

If you have a loved one with memory loss and are concerned about their mental and emotional health, pay close attention to their mood and behavior. Common symptoms to look for include:

  • Social isolation or withdrawal
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Disruption in sleep
  • Agitation or slowed behavior
  • Disruption in appetite
  • Irritability or aggression
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or activities
  • Impaired thinking or trouble concentrating
  • Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, guilt or apathy
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide

There are many possibilities to treat depression medicinally and holistically. As their caregiver, you can do a lot to help your loved one as they deal with dementia and mental illness:

  • Help them find a support group for people with early-stage Alzheimer’s who are learning to cope with their diagnosis, or help them schedule counseling sessions.
  • Create a predictable daily routine, utilizing the time of day they’re at their best for the most difficult tasks.
  • Encourage and help them to exercise each morning.
  • Help them participate in or socialize with the things and people they enjoy the most.
  • Celebrate every success, big or small, and find other simple reasons and occasions to celebrate.
  • Acknowledge their sadness. Let them know that you understand their feelings are legitimate, yet continue to express hope that they’ll feel better soon.
  • Find ways to help them contribute to the family, recognizing and thanking them for their contributions.
  • Reassure them that they will not be abandoned.
  • Let them know that they are loved – not because of their abilities, but as the person they are, have been and always will be to you.

The Art of Living

At Tuscan Gardens® of Venetia Bay, we’ve mastered the art of living. We’ve perfected the balance of personalized support and an uplifting lifestyle, helping our residents experience independence, joy and meaning every day.

Offering supportive independent living, assisted living and memory care services for families in Venice, Florida, Tuscan Gardens of Venetia Bay was founded with one simple, yet profound goal – to create a community worthy of our parents. In all we do, we are guided by the principles of family, culture and engagement, working to represent the remarkable way of life our families deserve.

The essence of our community is made up not only of mere aesthetics, but an artfully designed lifestyle to bring out the best of what each day has to offer. From dedicated care that respects residents’ individuality and dignity to a lifestyle that nurtures their love of life, Tuscan Gardens was built to be more than just a residence, but a place to call home.

To learn more about our comfortable, elegant community, contact us today!

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