Detection of Depression in the Cognitively Intact Older Adult
The downward spiral of disability that is associated with depression is costly to individuals and society, both financially and emotionally.Compared to nondepressed elders, older adults with depression have 47% to 51% higher total health care costs and higher costs in each cost category: Home health care, skilled nursing care, emergency room, outpatient medical, inpatient medical, physician charges, and medical equipment. Depression increases the risk of needing a higher level of care, including hospitalization among elderly home health patients and nursing home placement for community-dwelling older adults. Depression also reduces the likelihood that community-dwelling older adults who are admitted to acute care settings will recover their prehospitalization level of mobility following discharge.
The purpose of this evidence-based guideline is to improve detection of depression in medically compromised, cognitively intact, older adults. This guideline provides easy to use tools that can be used with limited training, making it ideal for a variety of healthcare workers and informal caregivers across settings. Written 1998; Revised 2005; 2014.
Toolkit Included in Guideline: