This article is part of The Third Third of Life Toolkit—a collection of resources for ministry to and with people ages 55 and over, brought to you by two ministries of the Christian Reformed Church in North America: Disability Concerns and Faith Formation Ministries.
Depression in older adults can sometimes be difficult to recognize, and frequently it can be confused with mild dementia or grief. Families and individuals may find these resources helpful for detecting depression and taking action. Church leaders, you may also benefit from better understanding depression so that you can guide individuals to find the help they need.
Depression in Older Adults: Signs, Symptoms, Treatment is a helpful guide for older adults and those who love them. A list of the signs and symptoms of depression as well as a comprehensive list of causes of depression, especially in older adults, may help individuals and their families find the help they need.
Depression Is Not a Normal Part of Growing Older and Depression in Older Adults: More Facts approach the topic from a statistical point of view, helpful in understanding the scope of the problem and suggesting how to detect and treat depression.
Me and the Black Dog is a beautiful first-person account from a Christian perspective of what it feels like to live with depression.
Why Isn’t Dad Fishing Anymore? honestly explores some of the symptoms of depression in older adults and the hope for healing.
Faith and Depression. This edition of Groundwork, a podcast created by Reframe Media, focuses on the agony of depression and uses scriptural models for supporting and encouraging faith when all hope seems lost. Discussion questions included.
FOR THOUGHT OR DISCUSSION
Depression is a problem that spans all ages. It’s also an illness that many people don’t understand. How might the church increase awareness of and understanding about depression?
How might the church minister to people, especially older adults, who are depressed? In what ways might we support adult children who are concerned about depressed parents?
If you’re part of the Christian Reformed Church and you have questions about how to strengthen your church’s ministry to and with people in the third third of life, one of Faith Formation Ministries’ Regional Catalyzers would love to talk with you about ideas and strategies.