Reducing Depression In Seniors

by Medindia Content Team on  April 17, 2004 at 3:19 PM General Health News   - G J E 4
Reducing Depression In Seniors
Two recent studies found to offer good news for older adults .The first study examined whether home-based programs can reduce depression in the elderly. Researchers studied nearly 140 adults over age 60. About half of the participants suffered from major depression, while the other half suffered from minor depression. Most of the older adults lived alone and had an annual income of less than $10,000.

Results of the study show seniors who received the home-based program reported fewer depressive symptoms than those who did not receive the intervention. The program consisted of visits and phone calls from a therapist as well as treatment that encouraged the seniors to increase their physical activity and become more social. After one year, participants who received the intervention were about five-times more likely to have at least a 50-percent reduction in depressive symptoms and nearly five-times more likely to achieve complete remission from depression.

The second study examined how long it takes for older individuals to recover from disabling events. Researchers found about four out of five newly disabled seniors regain the ability to live independently within six months of their disabling episode. Researchers say this recovery rate is higher than previously reported.

Thus researchers say only short-term success was observed in the seniors and they feel more needs to be done to prevent disability and disability recurrence.

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