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Mental Health/Psych

Mental Health Problems in the Older Adult

Changes in cognitive ability, excessive forgetfulness, and mood swings Are Not a part of normal aging
Changes in mental status May be related to alterations in diet and fluid and electrolyte balance, fever or low oxygen levels associated with cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases
Older Adults Are less likely than younger people to acknowledge or seek treatment for mental health symptoms
Signs of depression Feelings of sadness, fatigue, diminished memory and concentration, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, sleep disturbances, appetite disturbances with excessive weight loss or gain, restlessness, impaired attention span and suicidal ideation
Mild depression with symptoms Do not always meet the criteria for major depression; common and reduces quality of life and function
The risk of suicide Increased in older adults, approximately 84% of suicides carried out by white men
Geriatric depression May be confused with dementia
When depression and medical illnesses coexist Neglect of the depression can impede physical recovery
A commonly used assessment tool Geriatric Depression Scale
For mild depression nonpharmacologic measures such as exercise, bright lighting, increasing interpersonal interactions, cognitive therapy and reminiscence therapy are effective
For major depression Antidepressants and short-term psychotherapy, particularly in combination, are effective in older adults
Atypical antidepressants bupropion, venlafaxine, mirtazapine, and nefazadone
SSRIs paroxetine
Delirium Begins with confusion and progresses to disorientation. It is common and life-threatening complication for the hospitalized older adult and the most frequent complication of hospitalization
Created by: JennG2017