Free Depression In Older Adults Essay Example

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Depression, Psychology, Nursing, Disorders, Health, Life, Medicine, Community

Pages: 6

Words: 1650

Published: 2020/12/12

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to have mental health associated problems? Have you ever given a thought on how you like to be cared when old and experiencing depression or any other mental health disorder? Many older adults around the age of 60 and above experience mental health disorders such as depression, dementia and drug effects and need the help of nurses, families and the community. Firstly, let’s look at the different mental health problems that affect the older adults before going into our main topic. An older adult as defined by World Health Organization is a population of persons from the age of 60 and above.
Dementia is a condition that is associated to the deteriorating of the cognitive functions due to a number of factors such as neurobiological, destruction of brain tissues which cannot be reversed. There are many causes associated to dementia and the common ones are hypertension, hypothyroidism, head injuries and Alzheimer’s type which incorporates cognitive deficit and this is the predominant one.
Drug therapy effect which is a condition associated to taking of drugs to reduce depression such as antidepressant e.g. SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor). The increase usage of SSRI may lead to adverse responses which are potentially life altering in older adults.
Depression the topic under discussion is the main mental health disorder experienced among the older adults. What is depression? Has one of you ever experienced depression or has a member of a family has an experience? If so what were the reactions from you or other family members and did you visit medical care for treatment? What is the importance of the topic and how will it help in reducing the cases depression among the older adults?
Depression is a mental disorder which is often experienced at later age approximately 60 years and above. It is associated mood disorder and changes in behavior, such not recognizing the people around, not eating well or sleeping well. However, it can be experienced at an age of life and it can be treated if medical care is sought. Depression can be in two forms; minor depression and major depressive disorder (MDD). Minor depression is mostly experienced in older adults and both disorders are treatable. Both minor and major depressive disorders have a prevalence of 25% and 45%.
The focus of the group PSA is on depression in older adults. Public Service Announcement (PSA) is a free commercial-like used by non-profit organizations in announcing community based activities or events. The announcements take place in individual televisions and radios voluntarily. In making the PSA it must relevant to audience and benefit them, it must show the results of what is being talked about.
The importance of the topic is; knowing the causes, risk if not treated, the major symptoms of depressions the help that is needed by the victims and the challenges during the conducting research and treatment of depression. Depression is mostly associated to negative medical, functional and psychosocial outcomes and the causes are as follows; medical illness, loss of the loved one, major changes in life such as loss of job or retirement; loneliness and genetics.
The major clinical symptoms of depression that can be identified early and necessitate medical care in old adults are follows; fatigue, sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, psychomotor changes, loss of concentration and even wanting to commit suicide. In the psychiatric diagnostic criteria of measuring depression, there are the psychiatric taxonomies which are used to classify depressive disorders in the hospitals. The psychiatric taxonomic is well defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the Mental Disorders (produced by the American Psychiatric Association) as the classification of mental status of patients. It include the DSM III-R (1987) and the DSM IV(1994) that indicates that minor depression symptoms are experienced two or four times than major depression symptoms in older adults.
In getting treatment for depression by the older adults, the patient is advised to seek medication like any other patients. The treatment includes prescription of antidepressant, counseling and help from the family and getting involved in activities with the community in lessening the effects of depression. Positive thinking and eating well help in reducing the effects of depression. One is advised to think positively about life and any activity that he/she is involved and this will greatly help in lessening depression. Using of alcohol and having stress causes depression and if one needs to reduce depression he/she must stop taking alcohol and seek ways of stress management. There is high risk if depression is not treated early, such as commission of suicide, loss memory and becoming insane.
In distinguishing the somatic symptoms of depression such as disturbances in sleep, fatigue and psychosocial functions from those of acute medical illness and treatment proves difficult for nurses. Sophisticated diagnostic criteria are needed in where the somatic symptom presentation manifests itself more especially during the aging period of the older adults in MDD which is less specific. Due to this there many recommendations that when diagnosing and measuring should be done solely on cognitive and affecting symptoms in a medical setting. Somatic items can be used during the session though it will only distinguish the patients with MDD and those without but not minor depressions.
Depression affects all persons and it can be experienced at an age of life. However it is mostly experienced by the older adults and mostly affected by the minor depressive disorder also known as subsyndromal or clinically significant depression. Clinically significant depression has been categorized by DSM III (1987) as organic disorder, uncomplicated bereavement, dysthymic disorder and adjustment disorder with depressed moods. The statistic of the depression among the old was 10% to 25%in order persons in 2000. The following statistic shows depression in older adults; 1% to 5% of older adults, 65 of age and older experience major depressive disorder as epidemiologically investigated in the United States and internationally in 2005. Minor depression is prevalent at approximately 15% in the older adult living in the community and this was in 2003. The statistics shows that race and ethnicity does not show the prevalence of depression but mostly shows in gender. The rates of depression is higher prevalent in older female than older male. MDD prevalent in older adults is substantially higher in particular subsets; 5% to 10% medical outpatients, 10% to 12% for inpatients and 14% to 42% for the patients living in facilities of long term care. The difference of depression in gender is attributed to the gender gap in this age group.

Age: mean 78.6 0

Range 61-90 0
Gender: male 24(27) 0
Female 65(73)
Current health conditions: 4 (4.5)
Unhealthy 40 (44.9)
Healthy 45 (50.6)
Children: 12 (3)
Yes 347 (86.5)
No 47 (10.5)
Health conditions affecting quality of life: 3 (3.4)
Yes 72 (80.9)
No 14 (15.7)
Marital status: 14 (3.5)
Single 28 (7)
Married 25 (28.1)
Separated/divorced 6 (6.7)
Widowed 48 (53.9)
Finances: 0
Very good/ good 22 (24.7)
Average 60 (67.4)
Very poor/ poor 7 (7.9)
Education: basic 61 (68.5)
Higher 18 (20.2)
Living conditions: 0
Living at home 68 (76.4)
Living in supporting family 16 (18)
Living in medical care homes 5 (5.6)
Depression: 6 (6.7)
Yes 34 (38.2)
No 49 (55.1)
The above statistics were taken from statistics done by World Health Organization Quality of Life group in 2005. The study was done in Norway communities in which the population composed of 5,000-20,000 inhabitants and more. The table shows the average age to be 78.6 years and there is higher prevalence of depression in women of 73% compared to that of men of 27%. Those who have kids the depression rate is higher than those without, a percentage of 86.5% and those with basic education only at 68.5%.The respondents living in health conditions was half, while 94.4% lived at home and 5.6% in medical care homes showing that the most affected patients are those living in their homes and taken care by their families. The older adult spouses that had been widowed had the highest percentage under the marital status to get depression.
The PSA on depression in older adults involves every person and the reason for everyone to be included is that, in the lifetime, each person is affected in one or another. If one is not the victim then he/she is the doctor/nurse to treat the patient or a family member or a community of the patient. In each case medically reported most people are affected and need to learn on how to deal with the disorder, the causes and the symptoms of the disorder. Depression is one of the mental health disorders that do not choose the age and who to affect.
During the PSA the group conducted a research on depression, interviews in the medical care homes of the elderly, hospitals and in homes of the elderly and their families. The group then focused on how to reach to the community and pass the information about depression in older adults. It carried out open meetings with the communities, the patients in the hospitals and at homes. Lastly the information was put in media, this was done through TV and radio advertisement on the issues revolving around depression as discussed above.
The diagrams and statistics on depression among the older people were very useful to the audience and it was able to understand, the effect, causes, symptoms and how depression can be treated.


A lot of assessment is needed in a patient with symptoms of depression before concluding it to be depression. Depression has similar symptoms as dementia and thus the assessment is needed to get to know the root cause of the symptoms shown in a patient. Depression has it can be seen is prevalent mostly in older adult and especially in women and the patients need the help of a physician, the family and the community.


Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. (2012). Retrieved 2 26, 2015, from Centre for Addiction and Mental Health:
Amy, F., Wetherell, J. L., & Gatz, M. (2010, April 10). Depression in Older Adults. NIH public Access, 1.
Collins, A., Wynn, S., & Sherrod, R. A. (2010). Dessecting Dementia, Depression and Drugs Effect in Old Adults. Psychosocial Nursing, Vol. 48, 10.
Community Tool Box. (2014). Retrieved 2 26, 2015, from Community Tool Box: http://www.
H., L., Kurlowicz, & Streim, J. E. (1999). Measuring Depression in Hospitalized,. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, Vol. 12, 10.
Live, H., Kirkevold, M., & Kalfoss, M. (2010). Quality of life model: predictors of quality of life among sick older adults. US National Library of Medicine, 1.

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