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Prevention of Psychosocial Problems in the Elderly

By

Magda Lenartowicz

, MD, Scan Health Plan

Last full review/revision Jan 2018| Content last modified Jan 2018
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NOTE: This is the Professional Version. CONSUMERS: Click here for the Consumer Version

Depression screening is recommended because depression is common among the elderly. Several validated screening tests for depression (eg, Geriatric Depression Scale, Hamilton Depression Scale, Patient Health Questionnaire-9 [PHQ-9]) can be used. Screening is relatively easy; several instruments do not require a physician for administration. For patients who feel lonely or isolated, social worker assistance to increase social contacts may prevent morbidity and postpone death. For those who are depressed, appropriate intervention with counseling or drugs is warranted.

A sense of self-worth may contribute to better health. Patients should be encouraged to remain productive, engage in leisure activities, and remain or become involved with other people. These actions can enhance self-worth. Suggesting activities that confirm a sense of social connectedness, such as obtaining a pet, contributing to household chores, or doing volunteer work, may help prevent psychosocial problems (and physical disability).

Click here for Patient Education
NOTE: This is the Professional Version. CONSUMERS: Click here for the Consumer Version
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