Depression in Older Adults Essay

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Introduction What is depression? Is it really that common in older adults? Isn’t depression just a normal part of ageing? Depression is the term used to describe the mood, problem and disorder of the person (Hunter, 2012). The word is known by most, yet the condition remains untreated and generally downgraded to grumpiness in older adults (Hunter, 2012). As age increases, so does the loss of family and friends, which often means the number of emotional experiences through grief and other sad occasions, increases too (Hunter, 2012). This is the normal ageing process, however prolonged periods of depression that interfere with the person’s ability to function independently are not (National Institute of Mental Health, 2007). The purpose of this paper is to explore the theories and classification of depression, including the risk factors of the condition and the detrimental effects depression can have on daily living. It considers tools used to screen depression and the assessments and interventions used in nursing to improve health and overall wellbeing of the sufferer. Theories and classification of depression Berk (2010) stated that theory is the base for research and theory-based research instructs practice. There are many theories with regards to depression, yet not one can cover the entire aspect of depression in older adults (Hunter, 2012). Psychosocial theories include the learned helplessness model that concentrates on the loss of family and friends and diminished social interaction leading to the expectancy of bad things to happen (Hunter, 2012). This theory seems to be closely linked to older adults and depression and incorporates with the nursing staff to encourage independence as much as possible (Hunter, 2012). Other theories relating to depression in the older adult are the cognitive triad theory and the

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