THE IMPACT OF ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION ON OLDER ADULTS
Abeles, N., Michigan State University, USA
Abstract: In the United States, one out of every three residents will be over the age of 55 by 2030. To put this into a different perspective there are currently 75,000 centenarians in the US. By 2050 it is projected that there will be 3 million centenarians living in the United States. Knowing more about the disorders of later life is crucial for assessment and treatment of older adults. In addition to problems with physical health older adults are generally very concerned about memory functions. Even a small degree of forgetfulness is often judged to be a signal for the beginning of Alzheimer's disease. While mental health professionals are generally aware that depression is a frequent problem among older patients, it is less well known that anxiety is a very common problem also. Differentiating anxiety and depression at the mood, symptom and syndrome level is indeed a challenging task for researchers and practitioners. This paper will review some of the major issues in differentiating anxiety from depression and discusses the impact of anxiety and depression on cognitive abilities. Finally, this paper will present some recommendations with regard to treatment of anxiety and depression in older adults.