University of Kentucky College of Agriculture
KY Women's Health Registry

Older Adults

There are many reasons that depression is common among older adults. Older adults commonly experience chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer, and often face depressive symptoms as a side effect to medications. Research shows that about 20 percent of older people suffer from depression. The issue is even more pronounced among those who live in nursing homes, where studies show as many as 50 percent of older patients have depression.

Older adults may also experience vascular depression, also called arteriosclerotic depression or subcortical ischemic depression (mini-strokes). Vascular depression is caused by restricted blood flow to vital organs, including the brain, as a result of vessels becoming less flexible and hardening over time.

Depression in older adults is a serious concern. Many assume that suicide rates are highest among the young, but, white males age 85 and older actually have the highest suicide rate.

Blue to You

Blue to You was developed through the Health Education through Extension Leadership program made possible by Senator Mitch McConnell with funds earmarked for the University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture, Lexington, KY and budgeted through the CSREES/USDA Federal Administration.