Geriatric Depression: Do you recognize it?
BY REBECCA (LANGLET) SARTORELLI, DATA QUALITY SPECIALIST
Geriatric depression can be difficult to recognize, but should not be considered a normal part of aging¹. Depression later in life is associated with changes in emotional processing², suicidality, cardiovascular diseases, and morbidity from heart diseases³. These findings highlight the importance of recognizing and treating depression in the geriatric population.
Research has shown that geriatric populations are undertreated for depression, often due to patient characteristics (e.g. decreased cognitive score)4. While only 20% of the geriatric population are identified as having a primary diagnosis of Depression, over 60% of geriatric patients report moderate to severe depressive symptoms at admission (N=1635). When provided with treatment, our patients demonstrated a decrease in the severity of reported depressive symptoms.