Depression in later life, traditionally defined as age older than 65, is associated with disability, increased mortality, and poorer outcomes.
Compared to younger adults with depression:
- cognitive and functional impairment and anxiety are more common in older adults
- older adults with depression are at increased risk of suicide
Depression is associated with cognitive impairment and an increased risk of dementia.
A selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) should be the first line pharmacological treatment for depression for most older adults.
Psychological and drug treatment is as effective in older as in younger adults
Depression in older adults. Rodda et al. BMJ, 2011.
Image source: Vincent van Gogh's 1890 painting At Eternity's Gate. Wikipedia, public domain.