Elderly DepressionThursday, April 08, 2010
Depression is not a normal part of aging; unfortunately, it is very common in the elderly and often goes untreated. Dr. Edward Hill explains more in todays Sixty Second Housecall.
Late-life depression affects more than 6 million Americans aged 65 and older, but only 10 percent receive treatment. This is likely because the symptoms of depression in the elderly are often confused with the effects of multiple illnesses and the medications used to treat them.
Advancing age is often accompanied by a loss of key social support systems because of the death of a spouse or siblings, retirement or relocation of residence. Because of their change in circumstances and the fact that they're expected to slow down, doctors and family may miss the diagnosis of depression.
While depression may be an effect of certain health problems, it can also increase a person's risk of developing other illnesses.
Certain factors may increase an older persons risk for depression:
Certain medication or combination of medicines
Living alone, social isolation
Presence of chronic or severe pain
Fear of death
Several treatment options are available for depression, including antidepressant medication and counseling.
For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.