NORWICH – On Thursday, Chenango County Area Agency on Aging hosted guest speaker, Heather Zyla, to talk about mental health awareness and hold a discussion on depression in the elderly.
Zyla is a second year doctoral student in the clinical psychology department of Binghamton University. She was invited to speak at the Chenango County Area on Aging Senior Center after concerned staff members noticed a number of seniors appeared sad, stated the senior centers Nutritional Services Coordinator Jackie Lisk.
“We're hoping this will give them some insight and resources, as well as give our staff insight and resources,” said Lisk.
Zyla covered the symptoms of depression in elderly, risk factors that exacerbate depression, different forms of treatment, and resources for seniors experiencing depression symptoms in a one hour seminar.
According to Zyla, psychological symptoms for elderly with depression include irritability, grouchiness, snapping at people, difficulty concentrating, difficulty sleeping, feelings of guilt and remorse, and thoughts of suicide or suicide attempts. Physical symptoms include headache, stomach pain, cramps, and joint pain.
She explained medical doctors don't always identify these symptoms as depression.