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Depression

Depression is a common illness for older adults, but depression isn’t a normal part of aging.

Is it grief or depression?

Sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish grief from depression. Grief after a loss of a loved one is a normal reaction. However, grief that lasts a long time following a loss may be a sign of depression. Talk to your doctor if you are unsure if you or someone you know is showing signs of depression.

Getting help

If you are concerned about depression, talk to your doctor. Depression is a medical problem, not a character flaw or weakness. Your doctor can help determine if your symptoms are signs of depression.

What are the signs?

At one time or another you may have experienced all of the signs listed below, but if these signs last for an extended period of time, it may be a sign of depression:

  • An “empty” feeling
  • Ongoing sadness and anxiety
  • Tiredness or lack of energy
  • Loss of interest in everyday activities
  • Sleep problems, including trouble getting to sleep, very early morning waking, and sleeping too much
  • Eating more or less than usual
  • Crying too often or too much
  • Aches and pains that don’t go away when treated
  • Hard time focusing, remembering, or making decisions
  • Being irritable
  • Feeling guilty, helpless, worthless, or hopeless
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts

Treating depression

Even the most severe cases of depression can be highly treatable. As with many illnesses, getting treatment early is more effective. Different therapies work for different people. For instance, support groups can help if you are dealing with a major life change. Talk therapies and medication may be useful as well.

Tips for preventing depression

  • Stay connected
  • Prepare for major changes in life
  • Develop a hobby
  • Break up large tasks into smaller jobs
  • Learn something new

More resources from our Health Library:

How Our Plans Can Help

Annual Wellness Exam

Tufts Health Plan Medicare Preferred plans cover an Annual Wellness Exam each plan year. This is a more comprehensive doctor’s office visit designed to develop or update a personalized plan to prevent disease or disability based on your current health risk factors.

 

Wellness Allowance

Tufts Health Plan Medicare Preferred plans offer a $150 reimbursement for fees related to a health club membership, fitness classes (such as aerobics, Pilates, Tai Chi, or yoga), nutritional counseling sessions and other wellness programs like memory fitness activities and acupuncture.
 

Resources & Tools

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Drug Search
Use the drug search tools to find out if your drugs are covered and which tier they fall under on your plan type.
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Health Library A-Z
Tufts Health Plan has partnered with Healthwise to provide members with access to a library of high-quality content on conditions, treatments and more.
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Find a Doctor
Find a doctor within your Tufts Health Plan Medicare Preferred HMO network or your Tufts Health Plan Senior Care Options network.