Depression in the Elderly
Depression later in life frequently coexists with other medical illnesses and disabilities. In addition, advancing age is often accompanied by loss of key social support systems due to the death of a spouse or siblings, retirement, and/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 in elderly people, delaying effective treatment. As a result, many seniors find themselves having to cope with symptoms that could otherwise be easily treated.
Depression tends to last longer in elderly adults. It also increases their risk of death. Studies of nursing home patients with physical illnesses …show more content…
Psychotherapy is especially beneficial for those patients who prefer not to take medicine, as well as for those not suitable for treatment with drugs because of side effects, interactions with other medicines, or other medical illnesses. The use of psychotherapy in older adults is especially beneficial because of the broad range of functional and social consequences of depression in this age group. Many doctors recommend the use of psychotherapy in combination with antidepressant medicines.
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) plays an important role in the treatment of depression in older adults. ECT is a medical treatment performed only by highly skilled health care professionals, including doctors and nurses, under the direct supervision of a psychiatrist (a medical doctor trained in the diagnosis and treatment of