According to a new National Health Research Institutes survey, there are over 600,000 seniors suffering from depression in Taiwan. However, only 27 percent of seniors with depression seek treatment. Without timely intervention, seniors deteriorate quickly and die earlier.
In just three years, Taiwan will officially become a super-aged society in which one in every five people is over the age of 65. While Taiwan has a relatively high life expectancy, seniors are not experiencing healthy and happy final years. According to a new National Health Research Institutes survey, there are over 600,000 seniors suffering from depression in Taiwan.
Wu Chi-hsin, Associate Researcher, National Center for Geriatrics and Welfare Research: “As their bodies break down from chronic diseases, their risk of depression goes up. Another reason is the financial hardship people find themselves facing after retirement.”
According to NHRI researchers, signs of depression include loss of appetite, insomnia, weight loss, and negative or suicidal thoughts. If these symptoms last for more than two weeks, they could indicate depression. However, only 27 percent of seniors with depression seek medical treatment.
Wu Chi-hsin, Associate Researcher, National Center for Geriatrics and Welfare Research: “Research shows that people with depression have a higher death rate of two to three times. Secondly, untreated depression can lead to the manifestation of other diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes.”
The research team says the reason few seniors seek treatment for depression could be lack of awareness of depression symptoms or fear of loss of face. Apart from a regular daily routine and movement, social activities can help prevent depression in seniors.