Common Disorders/Illnesses Among the Elderly
You might not be surprised to read that the most common mental health issue among the elderly is severe cognitive impairment or dementia, particularly caused by Alzheimer’s disease (National Alliance on Mental Illness). An estimated 5 million adults 65 and older currently have Alzheimer’s disease—about 11 percent of seniors, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Other types of dementia bring the numbers even higher.
Depression and mood disorders are also fairly widespread among older adults, and disturbingly, they often go undiagnosed and untreated. In a 2006 survey, 5% of seniors 65 and older reported having current depression, and about 10.5% reported a diagnosis of depression at some point in their lives (CDC).
Often going along with depression in many individuals, anxiety is also one of the more prevalent mental health problems among the elderly. Anxiety disorders encompass a range of issues, from obsessive-compulsive disorder (including hoarding syndrome) to phobias to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). About 7.6% of those over 65 have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives, reports the CDC.
This information was obtained from A Place for Mom 2014