80-year-old woman creates website for seniors battling depression

Depression affects a large number of Canadian citizens each year, many of whom are over the age of 65. According to the Canadian Psychological Association, nearly 15 to 20 percent of seniors have depression.

Older adults living in retirement communities may experience symptoms typically associated with depression, but there are several ways they can combat these feelings. One woman, 80-year-old Evelyn Burns-Weinrib, recently sought a more tangible way for seniors to fight against these feelings. She funded a website solely focused on depression in older adults, providing them with resources they need in order to better educate themselves.

The site, which is hosted by Baycrest, provides resources for seniors battling the disease, The Canadian Press reported. Visitors find information and statistics pertaining to older adults with depression, along with real-life testimonies from seniors who have struggled with this condition. People can read about risk factors for depression, myths concerning the disease and ways to treat symptoms.

Robert Madan, the psychiatrist-in-chief at Baycrest, explained that seniors can use the site to distinguish between feelings of sadness and loneliness and those that indicate clinical depression.

“Feeling sad around something that’s sad, OK, that’s probably normal,” Madan said, as quoted by the source. “But if you’re feeling sad and if you have some of these other things [symptoms], you should seek help … People need to know that depression is not just being upset about circumstances, that it’s an actual illness.”

“Older adults respond very well to treatment.” This sentiment, highlighted in bold on the site’s front page,provides hope for seniors dealing with depression. There are many ways for aging adults to manage their symptoms, ranging from exercise to participating in social events to taking medication. Seniors living in retirement villages who believe they have symptoms of depression should consult with a medical professional prior to starting any treatment, as he or she may have the best advice for moving forward.