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How common is depression in older adults?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner
Depression in the elderly is more common that once thought, affecting one of every six older people. There are many potential triggers of late-onset depression. Illnesses associated with aging, such as heart disease, osteoporosis, cancer, Parkinson's disease, dementia, and stroke, can all lead to depression. Changes in life circumstances, such as the death of a loved or moving into an assisted living facility, can also trigger depression. Depression in older adults may mimic dementia, but depression is treatable, so it is important that it be properly diagnosed. Antidepressants and other interventions may help an older adult reclaim quality of life.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.