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It is a misconception that depression is normal inevitable part of aging it is not Depression affects an estimated 15 19 of American ages 65 and older living in a variety of setting yet the illness often goes unrecognised and untreated Cahoon 2012 This article explores depression and demographics hope for the older adults literature review and relevance to nursing implications and recommendation for future care and researchDepression in old age is a pathological process not a normal reaction to growing older Evans et al 2000 However there is a bias among health professionals and community in general to accept lower functioning and more symptoms in older people Alexopoulos 1992According to Statistic Canada 2002 population studies of rate of depression show that older people have the clinical disorder less than other age groups the rate of depression among men and women over 65 years living in the community is below 2 whereas the rate is almost 5 for men and women 25-65 years of age However if seniors suffering from all depressive symptoms are include the figure rises between 10 and 15 Conn 2002There are differences by gender in rates of depression and suicide Based on a study in Edmonton Alberta by Newman Bland and Orn 1998 the percentage of women suffering from depression 141 is almost double that of men 73 However men over 65 are at the highest risk for dying by suicide among all ages and gender groups Health Canada 2002 Seniors living in institutions have even the highest rates of depression with as many as 30 - 40 having the disorder National Advisory on Ageing 1999Implication to Older Adults HealthDepression imposes a great economic burden and is associated with increases in the use of all sectors in health care According to World Health Organization WHO it was projected that the global burden of depression measured in terms of disability - adjusted life years would rank second only to heart disease
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