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Assessment and Management of Older Adults with Depression

presented by Elizabeth Galik

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Depression is one of the most common psychiatric disorders to affect older adults, and symptom presentation may be different among older adults compared to a younger population. Untreated or partially treated depression has a negative impact on the health and quality of life of older adults. This session will describe the prevalence of depression among older adults and will highlight the symptoms that are unique to this population. Assessment of older adults with depressive symptoms, including screening tools and the evaluation of suicide risk, will also be addressed. Additionally, the course will discuss the use of a variety of non-pharmacological and pharmacological interventions. Depression among older adults can be effectively treated when individualized non-pharmacological and pharmacological strategies are deployed.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Elizabeth Galik, PhD, CRNP, FAAN, FAANP

    Elizabeth Galik is a Professor at the University of Maryland School of Nursing. She received a BSN from the University of Pennsylvania, an MSN from Villanova University, a post-master's Adult Nurse Practitioner Certificate from Johns Hopkins University, and a PhD from the University of Maryland. Her research interest is in developing and testing interventions to improve functional performance, physical activity, and quality of life among older adults with dementia. Dr. Galik practices clinically as a nurse practitioner in community and long-term care settings and focuses on the medical and neuropsychiatric care of individuals with dementia. In addition to her research, she also teaches in the adult and geriatric nurse practitioner program. Dr. Galik was awarded a John A. Hartford Foundation pre-doctoral fellowship, and has received extramural research funding from the Alzheimer's Association, Foundation of the American Medical Directors’ Association, and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She is a Board Member of the Maryland Gerontological Association, and the President Elect for the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association. Her memberships include Sigma Theta Tau International, Phi Kappa Phi, Southern Nursing Research Society, Gerontological Association of America, and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. Prevalence and Clinical Presentation of Depression

    1. Prevalence and Clinical Presentation of Depression

    This chapter will define and describe the prevalence of depression among older adults in community, long-term, and acute care settings. Additionally, the different clinical presentations of depression will be reviewed based on gender and age. Factors that influence depression in older adults will also be discussed.

  2. Assessment of Depression Among Older Adults

    2. Assessment of Depression Among Older Adults

    This chapter will describe the assessment of depression among older adults. Screening recommendations and tools will be discussed in addition to the comprehensive assessment of depression when screening is positive. Some older adults may be at risk of suicide, so appropriate screening for suicide will also be addressed.

  3. Non-Pharmacological Treatment of Depression

    3. Non-Pharmacological Treatment of Depression

    This chapter will describe a variety of non-pharmacological interventions for the treatment of depression, including cognitive/behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, physical activity/exercise, and social engagement/volunteerism. Having an understanding of the different non-pharmacological treatments is important so that care can be individualized for the older adult.

  4. Pharmacological Treatment of Depression

    4. Pharmacological Treatment of Depression

    This chapter will discuss the potential benefits and risks associated with different classes of antidepressant medications. A case-based approach will be utilized to apply knowledge of the assessment and treatment of depression among older adults.