Understanding the Phenomenon of Depression in the Elderly

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Kristen Stevens Phuongloan Vo


By Kristen Stevens, Social Work

Advisor: Phuongloan Vo

Presentation ID: AM_B04

Abstract: As the life expectancy numbers rise and people continue to age, the elderly population continues to grow rapidly. For the first time in U.S. history, in a couple of decades, older people are projected to outnumber children (United States Census Bureau, 2018). There is a concerning number of American adults suffering from depression, with the elderly, a fast-growing population, making up a large portion. When studying depression in adults, the elderly population is often not thought of. However, it is estimated that 20% of people age 55 years or older experience some type of mental health concern, which includes anxiety and depression (National Association of Chronic Disease Directors). With more seniors experiencing depression, and a concerning number committing suicide, it is important to bring attention to this issue. To understand depression in the elderly population, a qualitative exploratory study will take place. Using purposive sampling, five clients of Clermont Senior Services that are diagnosed with depression, aged 60 years and older, will be interviewed. During conversation, research questions will be asked to help gain an understanding of what depression in this population entails.

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AM Poster Session -- Great Hall -- B: Health & Body