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Mature adults and depression: how you can help by Paul Holbrook, M.A., C.S.C.S.

Although depression is not considered a normal part of aging, this illness is common among older adults. According to the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, 15% of adults ages 65 and above experience symptoms of depression that cause them distress and make it hard for them to function.

Depression also influences the physical and mental health of older adults, say researchers from the Seattle-based University of Washington. Their study of the healthcare costs associated with depression shows that mature adults with significant depressive symptoms had healthcare costs about 50% higher than older individuals without depression. (1) According to the researchers, “This increase was seen for every component of healthcare costs and was not accounted for by an increase in specialty mental healthcare.”

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