Decline in cognitive functioning is a hallmark sign of aging. When patients present with confusion, cognitive assessment can help determine whether these symptoms reflect underlying delirium, dementia, or depression.
Half of older adults receiving treatment for depression experienced first onset of symptoms later in life. Elderly patients face many physical, psychological, and social risk factors for late life depression, and may present differently than younger patients.
Despite recent improvements in the detection and treatment of late-life depression, rates of suicide among older adults remain high. There are many biological, psychological, and socio-cultural risk factors associated with suicide in later life that require intervention by health care professionals.