Elderly Depression

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

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 about elderly depression in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Late-life depression affects millions of Americans aged 65 and older, but only an estimated 10 percent receive any 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 theyre 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 persons 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

Recent bereavement

Presence of chronic or severe pain, and

Fear of death

Several treatment options are available for depression, including antidepressant medication and counseling.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.