Depression and Its Negative Effects on an Older Adult Essay

1370 Words 6 Pages
Depression and its negative effects on an older adult
By the year 2045, the number of adults’ ages sixty years and older will increase significantly in comparison to a person who is fifteen years of age or younger (Touhy, Jett, Boscart, & McCleary, 2012). Therefore, a large percentage of people seeking medical attention and support in the future will be the older adult. Presently, there are many health related issues and conditions that plague the older adult, and these will only continue to increase due to the escalation in the numbers of older adults. One mental health condition that should be brought to light, in this students’ opinion, is the prevalence of depression among the older population. There is a specific concern about this
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Additionally, the aging population is faced with many life changes that have the potential to lead to depression. These changes include, but aren’t limited to: retirement, the loss of a loved one, becoming isolated due to physical or mental health restraints as well as changes in social support such as family moving away or being “too busy”. In the event of a life changing experience many pre-existing circumstances can also negatively affect the aging process which can induce depression. These pre-existing circumstances can include, but are not limited to excessive alcohol use, or low social support (Touhy et al., 2012). Upon reflection, this student is lead to believe that as an older adults’ life circumstances change one may become more dependent on crutches such as alcohol or isolating themselves from previously enjoyable situations to avoid dealing with depression. Thus, an older adult may in turn become more depressed. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs states that in order to achieve self-actualization, esteem, love and belonging, and safety one must meet the basic physiological needs first (Witter Du Gas, Esson, & Ronaldson, 1999). If someone suffers from depression that has led them to no longer meet the basic needs such as food, water, sleep, and excretion; Maslow believes that they will never be able to fully achieve the next level of the pyramid. With this in