Dementia vs. depression in the elderly

Never assume that a loss of mental sharpness is just a normal sign of old age. It could be a sign of either depression or dementia, both of which are common in older adults and the elderly.
Since depression and dementia share many similar symptoms, including memory problems, sluggish speech and movements, and low motivation, it can be difficult to tell the two apart. There are, however, some differences that can help you distinguish between the two.
Is it Depression or Dementia?
Symptoms of Depression Symptoms of Dementia
  • Mental decline is relatively rapid
  • Knows the correct time, date, and where he or she is
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Language and motor skills are slow, but normal
  • Notices or worries about memory problems
  • Mental decline happens slowly
  • Confused and disoriented; becomes lost in familiar locations
  • Difficulty with short-term memory
  • Writing, speaking, and motor skills are impaired
  • Doesn’t notice memory problems or seem to care
Whether cognitive decline is caused by dementia or depression, it’s important to see a doctor right away. If it’s depression, memory, concentration, and energy will bounce back with treatment. Treatment for dementia will also improve you or your loved one’s quality of life. And in some types of dementia, symptoms can be reversed, halted, or slowed.
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