Capacity & Confusion:

Depression in Elders

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Major Depression:

Defined as depressed mood or a marked loss of interest that is experienced most of the day, nearly every day, for two weeks of longer. At least five of the following eight symptoms are also present:

  • Unexplained weight loss or weight gain; loss of appetite
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Psychomotor agitation or retardation
  • atigue or loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Thoughts of death; suicidal ideation
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities

Risk Factors For Major Depression

  • Medications
  • Concurrent medical disorder
  • Life stressors and lack of social supports
  • Prior episodes of depression
  • Family history of depression
  • History of suicide attempt
  • Substance abuse

Common Complaint in Patients with Depression

  • General – fatigue, anxiety, paranoia, apathy, weight loss, weakness
  • Cardiac – chest pains, palpitations, fainting
  • Pulmonary – shortness of breath
  • Gastrointestinal – nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea/constipation
  • Genitourinary – dysuria, frequency of urination, urgency, incontinence, sexual dysfunction
  • Musculoskeletal – back pain
  • Neurological – memory difficulty, loss of concentration, headache, dizziness
Created by:

LifeCare Advocates, 180 Wells Avenue,Suite 101,Newton, MA 02459, (617) 928-0200
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