- Estimates indicated that 1 percent to 5 percent of older Americans who live within their community experience major depression, but the incidence rises to 12 percent in older hospital patients and 13.5 percent among those who require home healthcare.
- Only about 10 percent of these individuals receive treatment for depression.
- The symptoms of depression often go unrecognized or untreated in older people.
- In part, this is because the signs of depression vary more as a person ages. For example, depression can be manifested as trouble sleeping, feeling grumpy or irritable, or feeling confused.
- Mood changes can also be caused by medications that people take for conditions such as arthritis or heart disease.
- If you are a family member or friend of an older person, watch for clues such as loss of interest in things that once brought pleasure, difficulty making decisions, or eating more or less than usual.
- The good news is that there are many ways to treat and handle depression.
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