A new study on depression among seniors living in residential care has been released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information. The study is based on a sample of nearly 50,000 seniors from 550 residential care facilities (or long-term care, nursing or personal care homes) in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the Yukon. This study is one of the largest examinations of the prevalence of depression and its effects on residents of extended-care facilities in Canada.
The analysis found that almost half (44 percent) of seniors had symptoms or a diagnosis of depression. These seniors experienced medical, social, functional and quality-of-life challenges related to their symptoms of depression. These challenges included unstable health conditions, declines in independence, cognitive impairment, conflict or withdrawal. Such challenges were also experienced by seniors with symptoms but no diagnosis of depression (18 percent); but those with a diagnosis (26 percent) were much more likely to receive a mental health evaluation and antidepressant medications.
To access the full study, see “Depression among Seniors in Residential Care,” Canadian Institute for Health Information, May 20, 2010, atwww.cihi.ca.