Coping with declining health, physical illnesses and complex medical regimens, which are all too common among many older adults, requires significant lifestyle changes and causes increasing self-management demands. Depression occurs in community-dwelling older adults as both demands and losses increase, but this problem is drastically underestimated and under-recognized. Depressive symptoms are often attributed to physical illnesses and thus overlooked, resulting in lack of appropriate treatment and diminished quality of life. The purpose of this study is to assess prevalence of depressive symptoms in community-dwelling older adults with high levels of co-morbidity and to identify correlates of depression. In this sample of 533 homebound older adults screened (76.1% female, 71.8% white, mean age 78.5 years) who were screened using the Geriatric Depression Scale (SF), 35.9% scored greater than 5. Decreased satisfaction with family support (p << 0.001) and functional status (p ≤ 0.001) and increased loneliness (p < 0.001) were significant independent predictors of depression status in this sample; thus, these factors should be considered when planning care.
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