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Depression in the elderly

Posted on August 13, 2015 at 6:20 PM Comments comments (0)

HOW SERIOUS IS THIS PROBLEM???

More than 6.5 million of the 35 million Americans aged 65 or older are affected by depression.

Depression in the elderly often go untreated because may believe it is a normal part of aging. This certainly is not true. The elderly faced devastating consequences of depression without treatment due to loss of connections and sometimes multiple chronic medical conditions. The manifestations of depression are different in the elderly and pride, cultural and lack of knowledge may be a hindrance in obtaining treatment.

• Approximately 90 % of the elderly do not receive adequate care for depression and a staggering 78% is not treated at all.

• 20% of the elderly who experience the loss a spouse will suffer from depression within the first year.

Older Adult Attitudes toward Depression: (courtesy of MHA: Mental Health of America)

According to a Mental Health America survey on attitudes and beliefs about clinical depression:

• Approximately 68% of adults aged 65 and over know little or almost nothing about depression.

• Only 38% of adults aged 65 and over believe that depression is a “health” problem.

• If suffering from depression, older adults are more likely than any other group to “handle it themselves.” Only 42% would seek help from a health professional.

• About 58% of people aged 65 and older believe that it is “normal” for people to get depressed as they grow older.

 

 

WHAT CAUSES DEPRESSION IN THE ELDERLY? There is no one size fits all. Causes and manifestations are different for the elderly and everyone in general.

• Life’s events such as getting a new diagnosis,

• Chronic or acute medical conditions and

• Genetics

• SOCIAL ISOLATION. Another risk factor is having an episode of depression in the past.

SUICIDE IN THE ELDERLY:

SUICIDE IN TH ELDERLY IS VERY COMMON, WHITE MEN OVER AGE 85 HAVE THE HIGHEST SUICIDE RATE IN THE NATION, ALMOST SIX TIMES GREATER THAN TH EGENERAL POPULATION.

SUICIDE OFTENS HAPPPENS AFTER A DOCTORS VISIT:

TRIGGERS INCLUDE:

CHRONIC PAIN SYNDROME, NEWS OF A LIFE THREATENING ILLNESS AND LOSS OF FINANCIAL FREEDOM.

20% OCCUR ON THE SAME DAY, 40% WITHIN A WEEK AND 70% OCCCUR WITHIN A MONTH.

If you are thinking about harming yourself, tell someone who can help immediately.

Do not isolate yourself.

■ Call your doctor.

■ Call 911 or go to a hospital emergency room to get immediate help, or ask a friend or family member to help you.

■ Call the toll-free, 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: ■ 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

■ 1-800-799-4TTY (1-800-799-4889

DEPRESSION IN THE ELDERLY: SERIES TO BE CONTINUED

“PREVENTION IS OUR PRIORITY"

Consequence of Fall in the elderly

Posted on July 19, 2015 at 9:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Falls account for over 8 million hospital emergency room visits, representing the leading cause of visits (21.3%). Slips and falls account for over 1 million visits, or 12% of total falls.

On average, the hospitalization cost for a fall injury is over $35,000.10

Accoding to the CDC falls are preventable. Each year millions of seniors 65 and older suufer from fall. • To be exact, one out of three older adults falls each year.

•Most fractures among older adults are caused by falls.8 The most common are fractures of the spine, hip, forearm, leg, ankle, pelvis, upper arm, and hand.

Fall fatalities are nearly equally divided between men and women. However, more women will experience a slip-and-fall accident. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, falls accounted for 5% of the job-related fatalities for women compared to 11% for men.

Falls account for over 8 million hospital emergency room visits, representing the leading cause of visits (21.3%). Slips and falls account for over 1 million visits, or 12% of total falls.

Fractures are the most serious consequences of falls and occur in 5% of all people who fall.

Slips and falls do not constitute a primary cause of fatal occupational injuries, but represent the primary cause of lost days from work.

Half of all accidental deaths in the home are caused by a fall. Most fall injuries in the home happen at ground level, not from an elevation

For people aged 65-84 years, falls are the second leading cause of injury-related death; for those aged 85 years or older, falls are the leading cause of injury-related death.

According to The National Institute on Aging, every year 30% of people over the age of 65 will sustain a fall, of which 10% will result in a serious injury.

COST OF FALLS:

In 2013, the direct medical costs of older adult falls, adjusted for inflation, were $34 billion.1 With the population aging, both the number of falls and the costs to treat fall injuries are likely to increase.

•In 2002, about 22% of community-dwelling seniors reported having fallen in the previous year. Medicare costs per fall averaged between $14,306 and $21,270 (in 2013 dollars).8

•Among community-dwelling seniors treated for fall injuries, 65% of direct medical costs were for inpatient hospitalizations; 10% each for medical office visits and home health care, 8% for hospital outpatient visits, 7% for emergency room visits, and 1% each for prescription drugs and dental visits. About 78% of these costs were reimbursed by Medicare.

Falls don't "just happen," and people don't fall because they get older. Often, more than one underlying cause or risk factor is involved in a fall.

Scientists have Muscle weakness, especially in the legs, is one of the most important risk factors. ave linked a number of personal risk factors to falling.

Your balance and your gait --

How youBlood pressure that drops too much when you get up from lying down or sitting can increase your chance of falling. This condition -- called postural hypotension walk -- are other key factors.

Foot problems that cSensory problems can cause falls, too. If your senses don't work well, you might be less aware of your environment. For instance, having numbness in your feet may mean you don't sense where you are stepping. ause painful feet, and wearing unsafe footwear can in Not seeing well can also result in falls. crease your chance of falling.

Other vision problems contributing to falls include poor depth perception, cataracts, and glaucoma.

Confusion, even for a short while, can sometimes lead to falls.

Some medications can increase a person's risk of falling because they cause side effects like dizziness or confusion. The health problems for which the person takes the medications may also contribute to the risk of falls.

The more medications you take the more likely you are to fall. People who take four or more prescription drugs have a greater risk of falling than do people who take fewer drugs.

Factors in the home that may cause falls:

loose rugs

clutter on the floor or stairs

carrying heavy or bulky things up or down stairs

not having stair railings

not having grab bars in the bathroom

Six out of every 10 falls:

remove or avoid safety hazards

improve lighting

install handrails and grab bars

move items to make them easier to reach.

 

 http://nihseniorhealth.gov/falls/homesafety/video/fall3_na.html?intro=yes


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