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2020 Annual Conference Posters


P20 - Identification of Depressive Symptoms in the Older Adult: A Guide for Providers


Description

Estimates indicate approximately 15-20 percent of older adults aged 65 and older suffer from depression. This translates to nearly 7 million adults currently residing in the United States. Depression and dementia are two of the most common neurological disorders occurring in the older adult, and research supports the idea that depressive symptoms are a risk factor for dementia. The symptoms of depression have been shown to accelerate decline in cognitive functions and memory. The presence of both depression and cognitive impairment were found to be independent predictors of one-year mortality in medically ill older adults. However, these two illnesses are not the processes of aging and remain treatable conditions. If symptoms of depression are identified and treated in a timely manner, an individual’s quality of life and functional abilities can be significantly improved. However, many providers lack adequate knowledge related to screening for depressive symptoms and treatment options in the older adult, often selecting inappropriate depression screening tools. The purpose of this presentation is to educate advanced practice providers on age-appropriate screening tools to identify depressive symptoms in the older adult.  

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