The global populace is experiencing an influx in the number of aging individuals due to the better nutrition, quality healthcare, and the capability to cure the various illnesses that was considered fatal. Europe is considered the only continent with the highest prevalence of the aging population in the world. This proportion stands at 16% and is deemed to double to 28% at the end of 2050 (Djukanovic 9). The elderly contributes a significant percentage to the community in several ways including within the family and in a wider social setting.
Conversely, the degree to which this influence is possible is based substantially on the person’s health status. The threat of reduced physical and cognitive abilities increases with age thereby, leading to negative impacts on the individual and the community. Studies indicate that 20% of older people suffer from mental complications (Djukanovic 9). The World Health Organization (WHO) defines depression as a state that is linked with the feelings of guilt and characterized by numerous conditions such as low self-esteem and sleeping disorders. Therefore, depression is a major health concern in the health sector and it requires preventive measures to help avert the complications that accompany it.
Prevalence of the Condition
Depression is a prevalent condition among the elderly and is a major public health concern. Depression is considered the fourth common disorder that results in physical, emotional, social, and economic complications (Chalise 7). The global occurrence of depression varies among nations with a prevalence rate of 10% to 55%. Numerous researches indicate that depression ranges between 34% and 77% in the elderly homes. In Canada, the incidence of major and minor depressions among the aged ranged between 2.6% to 4%with most of the individuals affected being females residing in institutions (Normala et al. 1475). In America, the number of older people with the illness is 20% and mostly they dwell in nursing homes or syndicates that care for the elderly. Similarly, 66% of the Korean aged personnel and 41% of the Japanese aging populace experience depression. In Australia, 34% of the institutionalized older individuals suffer from depression and are more likely to be diagnosed with anxiety ailments (Normala et al. 1475). Studies show that depression among women doubles that of men as the majority of the females experiencing mild depression being 46% while those having major depression standing at 27%. Therefore, if the condition is not treated earlier it can affect the mental, physical, and psychology of a person.
Causal Factors and Impacts of Depression among the Elderly
Recent studies show that the prevalence of depression in America is 20% in women and 10% in men. As such, the geriatric depression has been associated with a combination of numerous factors such as genetic, biological, and psychosocial. This has resulted in the occurrence of the condition at varying degrees among different people (Fotoula et al. 2). Similarly, other elements like the family past with issues of depression, hostile environment, and the negative home setting during childhood has been linked to depression. Contemporary shocking happenings such as deaths, lack of intimacy, and confiding relations are some of the primary enhancers of depression (Mina 1). A number of life transformations also influence the illness.
For example, retirement, chronic pain, isolation, multiple complications, continuous memory lapse, and loss of independence promote elderly depression. As such, aged individuals usually have a poor prognosis as compared to the populace in different age bracket since they have a greater risk of suicide and mortality. Additionally, the ailment leads to a decreased capability in the daily practices, lower level of self-esteem, reduced satisfaction with life, and lesser economic level (Jee and Yun 2). Various researches indicate that the aging depressed patients have a higher rate of mortality during their first to four years of contracting the disorder.
Symptoms and Treatment
Depression among the elderly can have a significant impact because of the increased level of comorbidity with physical ailments, reduced functioning, and enhanced suicidal dangers (Djukanovic 11). Depressive symptoms in the aging people are described as organic or masked since older individuals present low affective indicators and are likely to designate a change in cognition. Furthermore, the aged do not show depressed mood like the younger populace but might manifest somatic signs such as loss of appetite. The most common type of depression in the elderly is minor depression which has fewer symptoms. The depressive symptoms can be grouped into three segments: mood, cognitive, and physical symptoms (Mina 7). The mood symptoms include loss of interest in the daily activities, lack of pleasure, and suicidal thoughts.
Cognitive indicators entail failure and incompetence when making decisions. The physical symptoms include fatigue, restlessness, sleep disorders, and reduced functioning level. However, since it is challenging to recognize depressive ailments among the elderly, screening equipment is recommended and is to be conjoined with diagnostic based on the DSM-criteria. Clinical evidence backs the integration of psychological treatment in minimizing the level of depression in the elderly. For instance, the use of cognitive behavioral therapy and reminiscence therapy has been found to be effective in averting depression (Djukanovic 13). Encouraging physical exercise among the older people also have a positive impact, thus, should be considered when preventing the condition. Conversely, the use of antidepressants can result in substantial side effects like somnolence and dizziness.
Preventing depression provides higher chances to help avert and reduce the prevalence of the condition thereby, promoting a healthy aging populace. Prevention technique aims at the population segments that are likely to be affected by the ailment. An important concept for preventing depression is based on the targeted individuals. The framework is divided into three categories: universal, selective, and indicated measures (Okereke et al. 1). The universal technique concentrates on the general populace of interest whereas the selective method aims at people that are at risk of contracting the disorder. Indicated system aims at persons with some depressive signs but is below the symptom inception.
The elderly contributes a significant portion to the community in several ways including within the family and in a wider social setting. The threat of reduced physical and cognitive abilities increases with age thereby, can lead to negative impacts on the individual and the community. The global occurrence of depression varies among nations with a prevalence rate of 10% to 55%. Aged individuals usually have a poor prognosis as compared to the people in different age bracket as they have a greater risk of suicide and mortality. As such, the geriatric depression has been linked with a combination of numerous factors such as genetic, biological, and psychosocial. The depressive symptoms can be grouped into three segments: mood, cognitive, and physical signs. Psychological treatment can be used to minimize the level of depression among the elderly. However, the use of antidepressants can result in substantial side effects like somnolence and dizziness.
Chalise, Hom Nath. “Depression among Elderly Living in Briddashram (Old Age Home).” Advances in Aging Research 3.01 (2014): 6. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Dr_Hom_Nath_Chalise/publication/260084534_Depression_among_elderly_living_in_Briddashram_old_age_home/data/0f31752f6d951c29be000000/AAR-2014020611313253.pdf
Djukanovic, Ingrid. “Depression in Older People–Prevalence and Preventive Intervention.” Kalmar, Sverige: Department of Health and Caring Sciences, Linnaeus University (2017).
Fotoula Babatsikou, R. N., et al. “Depression in the Elderly: A Descriptive Study of Urban and Semi-Urban Greek Population.” International Journal of Caring Sciences 10.3 (2017): 1286-1295. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Fotoula_Babatsikou/publication/322918124_Depression_in_the_Elderly_A_Descriptive_Study_of_Urban_and_Semi-Urban_Greek_Population_International_Journal_of_Caring_Sciences_2017_10_3_1286-1295/links/5a75e9850f7e9b41dbd04d3a/Depression-in-the-Elderly-A-Descriptive-Study-of-Urban-and-Semi-Urban-Greek-Population-International-Journal-of-Caring-Sciences-2017-10-3-1286-1295.pdf
Jee, Young Ju, and Yun Bok Lee. “Factors Influencing Depression among Elderly Patients in Geriatric Hospitals.” Journal of physical therapy science 25.11 (2013): 1445-1449. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3881474/
Mina, Nasir Uddin. “Depression among Elderly People: A Literature Review.” (2017). https://www.theseus.fi/handle/10024/138624
Normala, R., et al. “The Prevalence of Depression and Its Risk Factors among Malay Elderly in Residential Care.” American Journal of Applied Sciences 11.9 (2014): 1456-1462. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/b0be/2f641a8a750852de1625ce7aef8893658a8a.pdf
Okereke, Olivia I., et al. “Depression in Late-Life: A Focus on Prevention.” Focus 11.1 (2013): 22-31. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3982610/