Depression in seniors is an illness that should be treated, and not a normal part of aging. Depressive symptoms in older patients often are not detected and treated because of other coexisting medical illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, Parkinson's disease, and diabetes.
Older people have to deal with many changes that contribute to depression. They may lose loved ones and have to continue to live alone. Many of them are physically ill or disabled and face various social and economic difficulties.
Depression in elderly tends to last longer and may lead to suicide. Older white men suffer the highest suicide rate, more than twice of the general population.