Why the Elderly Experience Depression


            Aging course is not at all times so relaxing. Some problems like chronic diseases, medical disorders, loss of loved ones and close friends sometimes take a heavy peal on an elderly individual’s emotional health. Sometimes the elderly may experience loss of mandate over what they think due to failing vision, hearing challenges and other serious physical changes. This certainly leads to increased pressure and eventually depression (American Psychological Association, 2010).

Depression is a serious and common medical challenge that adversely affects how you feel about yourself, the manner in which you reason and the way you act. Most importantly, depression is curable. It causes an individual to feel sad and losing interest in almost all the activities once enjoyed. It has both physical and emotional problems (American Psychiatric Association, 2017).

According Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), depression affects approximately 1%-5% of the entire aging people, 13.5% in old who necessitate home-based healthcare, and 11.5% of elder hospice patients.  Elderly are the ones at risk of misdiagnosis and lack of treatment as the symptoms can easily be mistaken to attribute other ailments, medications or life variations. Aging victims may fail even to talk about it or fail to comprehend the symptoms. Studies show that women are more than men to be diagnosed with depression.

The aging population has a list of normal changes that their bodies encounter. Loss of hair and thinning are just some of the examples. The skin becomes thin, dry out, wrinkle, and has age spots. The movement may be limited, and at some point, it becomes slow or difficult. Aging people change their posture and voice too. Other changes include hormonal and they lead to changes in sexual performance. The above changes are barely seen in early old age and many are encountered in the 70s and 80s. Current investigations say that some natural changes associated with aging expose an individual with high risks depression. Low degree of foliate in the blood may back to depression, dementia, and mental ailment as well. Scholars suspect that there is a link between the beginning of depression and Alzheimer’s disease (American Psychological Association, 2017).

There are two major concepts that elucidate the aspects of the aging population. Firstly, there is Disengagement theory that views elderly as a development of mutual withdrawal in which elder grownups willingly slow down by self-effacing, as predictable by the society. Promoters of this theory believe that communal social withdrawal remunerates both persons and the public. The other theory is Activity theory, which views a productive link between keeping lively and elderly healthy. Developers of this philosophy hold communal withdrawals runs counter outmoded American principles of action, dynamism, and production. According to (Erikson, 2016), the principal task of late adulthood (65 years and beyond) is to retain ego integrity, however, evading despair. Depression in elderly individuals is closely connected with reliance and ill health and points to great distress for the individual and the clan.

Approximately 80% of aging individuals have at least one lasting ailment such as high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis or kidney difficulty (Mussen, 1979). According to the National Council on Aging, 77% of the aging population have more than one chronic disease. Heart disease, stroke, and diabetes are the most common and costly chronic ailments as they are the cause of two-thirds of deaths yearly globally. Mental disorder is another senior in depression (Conwell and Brent 1996). However, the mental disorder is often undertreated and under diagnosed. Sensory deficiencies, such as visualization and audible range, are extremely common for aging Americans over the age of 70 (Health Science Centre, 2016). According to the CDC, one out of six older adults has a visual deficiency and one out of four has inaudible range deficiency.

The increasing aging population necessitates strategy actions that improve good well-being in old age. Important plans include ensuring a satisfactory response from health networks:  convenient health interventions can improve mental and physical well-being and therefore aid individuals to maintain good health at old age. Nevertheless, most of the healthcare established to the elderly people are usually informal and normally provided deprived of monetary reimbursement. Enhancing prevention is also very important in promoting maintenance of good health even at old age. Systems and networks should be built in order to create adequate long-term facilities and finally, the government should support economically (Bernd, Emily, and Martin, 2009). Polices in assistance of healthy aging also necessitates addressing for the constant communal engagement of elderly people.

Good examples of online services that deal with elderly population are Care Link, True Link, and Lift Labs etc. Care Link is a California-based organization that serves via an online marketplace that links individuals who are looking for in-home care using medical assistants, nurses’ assistants and like. The company helps the aging population and disabled family members by saving funds as there are no intermediaries involved.


            In conclusion, depression can be attributed to the factors ­– psychological, biological environmental and genetic. The elderly are more likely to experience depression and for this reason, we should be concerned with our elderly population as sometimes they might not fail to understand the symptoms of depression. Taking care good care of them can make them well and this can be achieved either by involving healthcare service that is provided by medical assistants. The elderly also tries to flashback their life to try to find something reasonable and in their quest to see life’s meaning, aging adults need to share their reminisces with those who care especially family, and that is why they necessitate our help.


American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

In Schatzberg, A. F., In Nemeroff, C. B., & American Psychiatric Association Publishing,(2017). The American Psychiatric Association Publishing textbook of psychopharmacology.

Bernd Rechel, Yvonne Doyle, Emily Grundy, Martin McKee (2009). How can health systems respond to population aging?Health Systems And Policy Analysis. World Health Organization 2009 and World Health Organization.

Conwell Y, Brent D (1996). Suicide and aging I: Patterns of psychiatric diagnosis. In: Pearson JL, Conwell Y, editors. Suicide: International Perspectives. Springer; New York: pp. 15–30.

Erikson, E. H., Erikson, J. M., & Kivnick, H. Q. (1986). Vital involvement in old age. New York: Norton

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *