Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Depression among seniors can lead to dementia

Posted by Sudbury Northern Life Reporter Janet Gibson
Health-care professionals should never stop trying to achieve a full recovery for seniors suffering from depression, according to a noted psychiatrist.

Dr. Monica Scalco, medical director of the Mood Clinic for Seniors at Whitby Mental Health Centre, told those attending a North Bay conference put on by the North East Mental Health Centre Oct. 23 that depression is common among seniors.

Almost one in five people will experience it in their lifetime, she said, adding, "It's treatable."

Therefore, it makes sense for doctors to screen their elderly patients for depression, which has historically been underdiagnosed and undertreated.

However, detecting it is often tricky, she warned, because seniors often discount their feelings and are hesitant to say they're sad. Instead, they say,
"I have such a wonderful family."

Full recovery should be the goal of treatment because of the whole story

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