Last Updated on November 21, 2021 by Ben Lesser
The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) is a method used by doctors to detect the signs of depression in elderly and chronically ill patients. According to a study published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, the Geriatric Depression Scale:
- It is made up of “”yes”” or “”no”” questions.
- It can be prescribed by a medical practitioner or taken by the patient.
- It is available in either a 15-question or a five-question format.
- Is GAD successful in patients over 85, Parkinson’s disease patients, elderly inpatients, and elderly outpatients?
This scale is a 30-item self-rating questionnaire used to identify clinical depression in the geriatric population. J.A. Yesavage and several others have developed the scale. The use of this scale allows for better diagnosis and quicker treatment of depression in ageing populations.
This is designed to assess a patient’s feelings about his or her health at different ages. It is a helpful tool that will allow health professionals to evaluate their patients while providing support and motivation effectively. The items are arranged in four sections that cover each major age category. They are; Physical Disability, Mental Disability, Composite Anxiety Disorder, and Social impairment.
The Geriatric Depression Scale was created so that doctors would better understand what to look for in older patients who are depressed. These individuals need to know that they are not alone but that others are dealing with the same issues. Knowing that you are not alone will help you feel better about dealing with the situation. It will also give the patient a way to understand better what is happening to them and why they think the way they are. Knowing the severity and duration of the depression is also essential to explore other treatment options before more drastic measures are taken.
Some people might think that dealing with the Geriatric Depression Scale might scare someone younger, but it does not. Many of the things that they fear will happen to them as geriatric-age patients can happen to anyone. Some medications are out there to deal with the symptoms of depression, and they can also be gotten over the counter if they do not want to go through the medical route. Daily activities such as exercise can be done by anyone dealing with the old problems of not having energy and sleeping problems. Geriatric patients need to know that they are not alone and there is help out there.
Getting over a depression scale should not be put off because of how scary it might make someone feel. Any patient of any age can deal with geriatric depression if they are dealt with properly, and there is help out there. This will be a big help for anyone who feels like they can no longer handle or cope with their depression. The Geriatric Depression Scale can be the first step to getting the treatment that will be needed for the geriatric age patient, and this is a great way to make sure that the patient receives the best treatment possible. Any time a person feels like they are not treating a problem they have, they need to get help sooner rather than later.
Efficacy of Geriatric Depression Scale in Diagnosing Depression
According to a report published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, the Geriatric Depression Scale was just as successful as the gold standardized score for this purpose, the Standardized Clinical Interview for DSM-IV, in detecting signs of depression in geriatric patients (SCID). The Geriatric Depression Scale was extremely useful in ensuring that patients received the guided care required to get and remain safe, particularly in-home care patients where the SCID is not suitable for use.
This scale was designed for use in older adults and is a dimensional questionnaire that measures the patient’s depression symptoms on a four-point Likert scale. It is designed to measure the frequency of occurrence of depressive mood and cycles of mania and depression. A patient’s response to the four-point Likert scale can provide an effective tool to diagnosis the disease and the necessity of antidepressant or mood stabilizers. The reliability of this measure has been established in many studies.
The Efficacy of Geriatric Depression Scale in diagnosing depression in older adults according to American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry has its limitations. First, the patient must fulfill specific criteria for depression. These include having a major or minor depression episode during the last ten years. The severity of the attacks and the duration of the episodes should also be discussed between the psychiatrist and the patient. The patient must have been experiencing a significant change in his/her life or have been involved in a loved one’s death.
Another research published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing found that the Geriatric Depression Scale helped detect signs of depression in older patients when used in combination with other diagnostic instruments such as the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Checklist.
As we age, our physical abilities decrease, leading to several changes in the way we think. This can lead to significant changes in our moods. For instance, geriatric patients who had experienced a major depression episode at an early age now tend to have more intense mood swings as they age. The severity of the symptoms can decrease as the patient ages, but it may never completely go away.
Depression is often the most common mental illness in older adults. There are many treatments for geriatric patients, including medications, psychotherapy, exercise, and antidepressants. Geriatric patients need to know the accuracy of the GERD-rating scale in diagnosing their depression. This scale has been known to score incorrectly in several cases. This may be because of different illnesses and the length of time the patient has lived with depression.
It is also important to note that there is no known reason why the Efficacy of Geriatric Depression Scale in Diagnosing Depression will score higher in some cases than in others. If you feel that your child or the adult patient may be suffering from depression, you should schedule an appointment with him or her. Your doctor will conduct testing to see if the patient is indeed suffering from this disease. This will help your doctor determine if medication is required or what form of psychotherapy is needed to treat the depression disorder. Once the proper treatment is selected, your patient will be able to return to living a happy and everyday life.
Depression in the Elderly
Depression is a significant problem for patients over the age of 65 for a variety of reasons. Among the most popular are:
- Medication side effects with chronic conditions.
- Depression caused by a chronic disease.
- Bereavement or alienation from loved ones.
- Freedom loss (e.g., driving, living alone, etc.)
- Unawareness that mixing alcohol and drugs can result in more serious medical problems and depression.
While few patients in this age group will seek care for depression independently, it is a problem that family members can help them solve through effective treatment. Depression in older patients is very treatable. However, it is always best to take your seriously and consult your doctor whenever you notice anything out of the ordinary. Depression in older patients does not need to be a permanent state of affairs. If you are an older person who is suffering from depression, do not despair. There are treatments available for you. Consult your doctor and together find a way to cure depression.
This form of depression is common in elderly individuals who have suffered some form of disability. If you are a caregiver for such a patient, you need to be aware of the many ways of how to test for geriatric depression. The use of the Gerd Scorer can assist you in correctly diagnosing this condition in your patient. You also need to ensure that they receive the proper medical attention to get rid of the depression. Your patient may even require psychotherapy to treat his or her depressive disorder.
Co-occurring Disorders in Elderly Patients
Many people over the age of 65 suffer from depression on their own. Substance abuse and depression also go hand in hand for many people. Elderly patients may use drinking, cannabis use, or abuse of prescription drugs to cope with depression about an urgent issue. They may end up creating a new and much more damaging problem for themselves that cannot be helped without medication.
There are several symptoms of depression in older patients. These include chronic pain, fatigue, and trouble concentrating, sleep disturbances, irritability, and changes in diet and exercise patterns. The severity of the symptoms can range from mild to severe. This makes it essential to treat depression in older patients carefully.
Cognitive-behavioural therapy is one of the most effective forms of treating depression in older patients. This form of treatment involves using cognitive behavior therapy to change the thought patterns and behaviour of the patient. This form of depression treatment is used by more than 50 percent of those diagnosed with depression.
One form of medication that has been used to treat depression in older patients is tricyclics. These are usually given to people who suffer from depression and need to control certain moods. However, this medication can have some severe side effects. Therefore, it is not recommended to use this medication as the primary form of treatment. Other forms of medication include monoamine oxidase inhibitors or MAOIs.
Herbal treatments are also used to treat depression in older patients. Most herbs have properties that can improve the mood and the feelings of the patient. For example, St. John’s Wort can reduce anxiety and stress. Passionflower can improve a person’s perspective. If you suspect that you are suffering from depression, then do consult your doctor so that he or she can prescribe the proper treatment for you.
If you are an older person who has problems with depression, do not ever underestimate the issues you have as an older person. Depression in older patients can range from being extremely mild to being extremely severe. Therefore, you must seek treatment immediately if you are an older person who is depressed. Depression in older patients requires a lot of care and patience.
If you are interested in finding a Dual Diagnosis treatment program for your loved one, please don’t wait to call us on 844-567-9564 if you are interested in assistance with the geriatric depression scale treatment.
Ben Lesser is one of the most sought-after experts in health, fitness and medicine. His articles impress with unique research work as well as field-tested skills. He is a freelance medical writer specializing in creating content to improve public awareness of health topics. We are honored to have Ben writing exclusively for Dualdiagnosis.org.