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Running head: ADDRESSING ELDERLY DEPRESSION 1Addressing Elderly DepressionKiara BeverlyWalden University
ADDRESSING ELDERLY DEPRESSION 2AbstractDepression affects people of every age, gender, race, and culture. The elderly population is at risk for depression as the population is increasing in size. Symptoms of depression are sometimes overlooked and untreated. This paper will discuss articles related to elderly depression, and I will offer intervention for elderly depression. This paper will discover how to measure and screen for depression in the elderly population. The articles researched references aging, economic dependency, loneliness, relationships with family and friends, health, and anxiety as they are factors that related to depression among the elderlies. The intervention implemented include PEARLS and the use of the Geriatric Depression Scale.
ADDRESSING ELDERLY DEPRESSION 3Aging is a normal process in human life. “Depression in old age has a high impact affecting the elderly socially, biologically, physically and mentally” (Vasilopoulos, 2013, p. 60). Elderly depression may be caused by socioeconomic status, abuse, loss of loved ones, increased medical conditions and aging itself. According to the Center for Disease Control, “80% of older adults have at least one chronic health condition, and 50% have two or more”. There is an estimated 13.5% of older adults living in communities and 11.5% who have in-home health care facilities and hospitals who suffer from depression (cdc.gov). Major depression is reported in 5-16% of community-dwelling older adults, up to 54% in the first year living in a nursing home, and 10-12% of hospitalized older adults (Blazer, 2009; McKenzie & Harvath, 2016).There are several symptoms associated with elderly depression. Depression depends on the individual. Symptoms include persistent sadness, feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and guilt, irritability, restlessness, and loss of sex drive. In addition, the elderly population may have an issue with concentrating and sleeping, thoughts of suicide, and decreased energy. Measuring Depression in ElderlyWith all the symptoms of elderly depression, there is a way of measuring depression in the elderly population. The Geriatric Depression Scale is a tool used by professionals to assess depression in older patients. The questionnaire has yes or no questions to determine depression levels. “Patients scoring a five or higher will be assessed for mild geriatric depression, while patients scoring a ten or higher will be assessed for severe geriatric depression” (Biscontini, 2017). The GDS may be used with healthy, medically ill and mild to moderately cognitively impaired older adults. It has been extensively used in community care, acute care, and long-term care settings.
ADDRESSING ELDERLY DEPRESSION 4The GDS was originally developed as a 30-item instrument. Since this version is both time-consuming and difficult for some patients to complete, a 15-item version was developed. The shortened form is comprised of 15 items chosen fromthe Geriatric Depression Scale-Long Form (GDS-L). These 15 items were chosen