Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Depression in the Elderly Essay - 1261 Words

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 theyre 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†¦In many cases, a combination of the following treatments is most successful. Antidepressant Medicines Many antidepressant medications are available to treat depression. Most of the available antidepressants are believed to be equally effective in elderly adults, but the risk of side effects or potential reactions with other medicines must be carefully considered. For example, certain traditional antidepressants -- such as amitriptyline and imipramine -- can be sedating and cause a sudden drop in blood pressure when a person stands up, which can lead to falls and fractures. Antidepressants may take longer to start working in older people than they do in younger people. Since elderly people are more sensitive to medicines, doctors may prescribe lower doses at first. Another factor may be forgetting or not wanting to take their medication. Many elderly patients are taking lots of drugs, which can lead to increased complications and side effects. In general, the length of treatment of depression for the elderly is longer then it is in younger patients. 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