Depression Affects Millions of People in the United StatesDepression is a medical condition that affects millions of people in the United States, including up to 5 percent of Americans age 65 or older. The prevalence of depression is significantly higher – between 11.5% and 13.5% – in older hospitalized patients and in who require home health care.
Unfortunately, older Americans also face a greater risk that their depression will not be properly diagnosed or treated, in part because they may be less likely to share feelings of sadness or vulnerability and in part because symptoms may be dismissed as a normal part of aging.
The experience of depression is more than just feeling sad or blue but rather a serious mood disorder that requires treatment. It is important to recognize that, although depression may be more common in older adults, it is not a normal part of aging.
Care managers can help older patients and clients understand the risks associated with depression, identify troubling symptoms that could be signs of depression, and access services for assessment, diagnosis, and treatment.