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Depression in the Elderly
Katie Brandner
Depression is
not a normal
symptom
of aging.
Image Credit: http://inhomecareidaho.com/wp-
content/uploads/IMG_0301-300x200...
OT practitioners are in a unique position to
Treat,
Identify,
and
Prevent
Depression in an elderly client
WHAT IS DEPRESSION?
Depression is defined as “clinically significant distress or
impairment in social, occupational, or ot...
Image credit: http://www.topnews.in/files/chronic-
condition.jpg
According to the CDC, older adults are
more at risk of ex...
How many older adults have
depression?
• 1%-5% of older people
living in a community
• 13.5% of older people who
require h...
• OT plays a big part in home health and
hospitals
• Often depression in the elderly client
is unrecognized and untreated
...
How do you identify depression in an
elderly client?
• Feeling sad or "empty"
• Feeling hopeless
• Irritable
• Anxious
• G...
Often symptoms of
depression in the elderly
are mistaken for an
illness or for "normal
signs of aging”. These
symptoms can...
There are many ways in which the
OT practitioner, the healthcare team, and
the client can work together to help the
client...
How is depression treated?
Depression is a treatable condition.
Ways to treat it are:
• Medication
• Psychotherapy
• Elect...
Before treatment begins the doctor must
rule out other factors that may be causing
the symptoms like:
• Medications
• Illn...
While in treatment it’s important to
implement depression management strategies
such as:
• Getting regular exercise
• Lear...
How do you treat depression from an OT
perspective?
First understand that depression changes how the client
behaves and ch...
Common reasons to choose the activities
they continue are:
• Deeply established habits and
commitments
• Gratifying activi...
How is depression prevented?
There is no surefire way to prevent depression.
Some strategies help. These include:
• Stress...
• The elderly population is vulnerable
to depression
• As an OT practitioner you need to be
on the lookout for symptoms
• ...
Common triggering events for symptoms of depression in the
elderly:
• A move from home, such as to a retirement facility
•...
What do you do if you see signs of
depression?
As an OT practitioner if you see signs
of depression you should tell your
c...
Key concepts
• As OT practitioners it is important for us to
identify, treat, and prevent depression in our
elderly client...
References
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders
(5th ed.). Arli...
Any Questions?
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Depression in the elderly

Depression in the elderly.

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Depression in the elderly

  1. 1. Depression in the Elderly Katie Brandner
  2. 2. Depression is not a normal symptom of aging. Image Credit: http://inhomecareidaho.com/wp- content/uploads/IMG_0301-300x200.jpg
  3. 3. OT practitioners are in a unique position to Treat, Identify, and Prevent Depression in an elderly client
  4. 4. WHAT IS DEPRESSION? Depression is defined as “clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of function. Major depression is characterized by • A change in mood or sleeping or eating habits • Low energy or fatigue • Reduced concentration • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt • Thoughts of death or suicide (American Psychiatric Association, 2013)
  5. 5. Image credit: http://www.topnews.in/files/chronic- condition.jpg According to the CDC, older adults are more at risk of experiencing depression because • 80% of older adults have at least one chronic health condition. • 50% have two or more chronic health conditions Depression is more common in people who have • Other illnesses • Limited function
  6. 6. How many older adults have depression? • 1%-5% of older people living in a community • 13.5% of older people who require home health • 11.5% of hospital patients Image Credit: http://stmaryathenstn.org/wp- content/uploads/2011/11/nursing-home-300x256.jpg (CDC, 2015)
  7. 7. • OT plays a big part in home health and hospitals • Often depression in the elderly client is unrecognized and untreated • Knowing how to identify depression is an important tool
  8. 8. How do you identify depression in an elderly client? • Feeling sad or "empty" • Feeling hopeless • Irritable • Anxious • Guilty • Loss of interest in favorite activities • Feeling very tired According to the National Institute of Mental Health, many of the usual symptoms of depression may be seen in an elderly client with depression. These symptoms can be: • Not being able to concentrate or remember details • Not being able to sleep or sleeping too much • Overeating or not wanting to eat at all • Thoughts of suicide • Suicide attempts • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems
  9. 9. Often symptoms of depression in the elderly are mistaken for an illness or for "normal signs of aging”. These symptoms can include: • Fatigue • Appetite loss • Trouble sleeping (National Library of Medicine, 2015) Image Credit: http://myhomecareblog.com/files//2013/09/bigstock-Sick-older- woman-trying-to-eat-34022006-300x200.jpg
  10. 10. There are many ways in which the OT practitioner, the healthcare team, and the client can work together to help the client treat and manage their depression.
  11. 11. How is depression treated? Depression is a treatable condition. Ways to treat it are: • Medication • Psychotherapy • Electroconvulsive therapy (National Library of Medicine) Image Credit: http://www.gracepointwellness.org/images/ root/carrietherapysession2.jpg Image Credit: http://g.psychcentral.com/news/u/2008/1 2/depressionmedicationparkinsons.jpg
  12. 12. Before treatment begins the doctor must rule out other factors that may be causing the symptoms like: • Medications • Illness Depression is not cured overnight.
  13. 13. While in treatment it’s important to implement depression management strategies such as: • Getting regular exercise • Learning good sleep habits • Avoiding drugs and alcohol • Talking about your feelings with someone you trust • Surrounding yourself with positive people • Doing fun and meaningful activities • Taking your prescribed medications correctly Image Credit: http://www.leanerliving.com/wp- content/uploads/2012/06/elderly-barbell.jpg
  14. 14. How do you treat depression from an OT perspective? First understand that depression changes how the client behaves and chooses their occupations. As an OT practitioner • If you see symptoms of depression, let their doctor know or encourage them to see their doctor to be evaluated. • While being treated for depression, help your client manage their depression by working on meaningful occupations and pleasurable activities.
  15. 15. Common reasons to choose the activities they continue are: • Deeply established habits and commitments • Gratifying activities • Friends and family initiated tasks • Volitional need to keep doing activities • Distraction from their depression • As way to hide their depression from friends and family (Leibold, M. L., Holm, M. B., Raina, K. D., Reynolds, C. F., III., & Rogers, J. C., 2014) Image Credit: http://static2.stuff.co.nz/1269548446/63 5/3510635.jpg
  16. 16. How is depression prevented? There is no surefire way to prevent depression. Some strategies help. These include: • Stress management • Reaching out to family and friends • Getting treatment for depression as soon as symptoms present • Getting long term treatment for depression to prevent a reoccurrence of depression (Mayo Clinic)
  17. 17. • The elderly population is vulnerable to depression • As an OT practitioner you need to be on the lookout for symptoms • The earlier that depression is treated and managed, the better!
  18. 18. Common triggering events for symptoms of depression in the elderly: • A move from home, such as to a retirement facility • Chronic illness or pain • Children moving away • Spouse or close friends passing away • Loss of independence Depression can also be related to a physical illness, such as: • Thyroid disorders • Parkinson’s disease • Heart disease • Cancer • Stroke • Dementia (National Library of Medicine)
  19. 19. What do you do if you see signs of depression? As an OT practitioner if you see signs of depression you should tell your client to visit their doctor for an evaluation. You should also start implementing depression management strategies such as: • Having the client choose meaningful activities and occupations • Have the client choose occupations that are pleasurable and rewarding http://about.lsnc.net/files/2013/03/Grandmother_holding_her_gran dd.jpg
  20. 20. Key concepts • As OT practitioners it is important for us to identify, treat, and prevent depression in our elderly clients. • Depression is not a normal sign of aging • If the OT practitioner, the healthcare team, and the client work together, depression can be identified, treated, and possibly even prevented in an elderly client
  21. 21. References American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: Author. Depression is Not a Normal Part of Growing Older. (CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL) (2015, March 5). Retrieved May 17, 2015, from http://www.cdc.gov/aging/mentalhealth/depression.htm Depression - older adults: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. (n.d.). (NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE) Retrieved May 17, 2015, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001521.htm Depression (major depressive disorder). (n.d.). (MAYO CLINIC)Retrieved May 18, 2015, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/basics/prevention/con-20032977 Depression Measurement Instruments. (2013). In (The encyclopedia of elder care): The comprehensive resource on geriatric health and social care. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.greenriver.edu:2048/login?qurl=http%3A%2F%2Fsearch.credoreference.com.ezproxy.gr eenriver.edu%2Fcontent%2Fentry%2Fspenelderc%2Fdepression_measurement_instruments%2F0 Leibold, M. L., Holm, M. B., Raina, K. D., Reynolds, Charles F., I.,II, & Rogers, J. C. (2014). Activities and adaptation in late-life depression: A qualitative study. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 68(5), 570-7. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.greenriver.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/1563107686?acco untid=1558 Older Adults and Depression. (n.d.). (NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MENTAL HEALTH)Retrieved May 18, 2015, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/older-adults-and- depression/index.shtml#pub4
  22. 22. Any Questions?

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