Depression is not a normal or necessary part of aging. Senior depression can be treated, and with the right support, treatment, and self-help strategies you can feel better and live a happy and vibrant life.
Dogs in particular can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, ease loneliness, encourage exercise and playfulness, and even improve your cardiovascular health. Caring for a dog can help children grow up more secure and active or provide valuable companionship for older adults. Perhaps most importantly, though, a dog can add real joy and unconditional love to your life.
Professionals working in primary healthcare settings are likely to come into contact with older adults suffering with anxiety disorders. These disorders are often difficult to distinguish from the normal worries of older adults, from nervous personalities, physical illnesses with symptoms similar to some that accompany anxiety, and mental and emotional changes related to the development of cognitive impairment or dementia.
Although anxiety disorders are common at all ages, there is a misconception that their prevalence drastically declines with age. For this reason anxiety disorders often are underdiagnosed and undertreated in geriatric patients, especially when the clinical presentation of these disorders in older patients differs from that seen in younger adults.
Excessive anxiety that causes distress or that interferes with daily activities is not a normal part of aging, and can lead to a variety of health problems and decreased functioning in everyday life. Between 3% and 14% of older adults meet the criteria for a diagnosable anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent mental health conditions, and in any given year, about 10% of adults aged 65 and older experience a diagnosable anxiety disorder. Over their lifetimes, about 15% of those who survive past the age of 65 will have had an anxiety disorder.
Prevalence of anxiety disorders in the elderly is high. Current research shows that between 5.5 and 10% of seniors are suffering from an anxiety disorder. Their prevalence is even higher in persons living in institutions like a retirement home. Among them, women are twice as likely to suffer from an anxiety disorder as men. Anxiety disorders are at least two times more frequent than depression in the elderly.
The authors reviewed data to assess the prevalence of suicide ideation among community-dwelling older adults and the relationship between suicide ideation, major psychiatric disorder, and mental health service.
Suicide in later life is a global public health problem. The aim of this review was to conduct a systematic analysis of studies with comparison groups that examined the associations between social factors and suicidal behavior (including ideation, non-fatal suicidal behavior, or deaths) among individuals aged 65 and older.
People 65 years and older, particularly men, have the highest suicide rate of any other group. This contradicts a popular misconception that the highest rate is among the young. The Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) have had higher suicide rates than previous generations.