In “Depression in Older Adults” (November 2012), author Cynthia G. Cahoon points out that depression is estimated to be present in 6% to 44% of adults who live in long-term care facilities. We must better recognize the risk factors of depression if we are to improve care for those in need.
Nurses at all levels are responsible for identifying this potentially serious condition—and for formulating a plan of care before discharge. Because diagnosing depression can be difficult, especially when the older adult has dementia, a three-step process is needed that entails assessing cognitive impairment, completing a depression screening, and referring patients with evidence of depression.1
Bonnie M. Pigg, BSN, RNC-OB, C-EFM
1. Brown EL, et al. Detection of depression in older adults with dementia J Gerontol Nurs. 2009;35(2):11–5