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Seniors fighting depression

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JACKSONVILLE (KYTX) -- Beverly Conlon is 84 years young. She's happy, lively, and has one big goal.

"My goal is to try to stay active, at least hit 90 gracefully," Conlon said.

Conlon's doctor said she's in great health.

"She is an example for all of our folks who may be a little bit older," said Dr. Matthew Proctor of Trinity Mother Frances in Jacksonville.

Conlon stays active by volunteering at hospitals, exercising and working from home.

"I think that sitting around in a chair and waiting for the end is not healthy," Conlon said.

Dr. Proctor said, unfortunately, many people in their 80's don't share this mindset, and that can lead to depression.

"I always try to tell them that they need to be more physically active and get out more. See things, do things. And that, by far, in a way, is a very big adjunct in our treatment," Dr. Proctor said.

According to Dr. Proctor, a lot of cases of depression in the elderly are never diagnosed because many families don't understand the seriousness of the problem.

"Depression is not normal just because someone is growing older," Dr. Proctor said. "It's not a normal aging process."

Conlon said she tries to give other people her age advice on how to stay healthy.

"I think being active is one of the best things you can do. Don't sit in a chair and just wait," said Conlon.

She's determined to stay active and healthy, to keep depression at bay.

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