It is important to study the phenomenon of loneliness in the aging community, as many older individuals face a variety of problems including physical illness when faced with this common problem.
Depression in the elderly community can have severe consequences, which is why it is an important public health problem and research area. Older adults facing this debilitating condition are less likely to endorse affective symptoms and are more likely to instead display cognitive changes, somatic symptoms, and loss of interest than are younger adults. It is comorbid with “morbidity, increased risk of suicide, decreased physical, cognitive and social functioning, and greater self-neglect”, all of which are associated with an increase in mortality.
Dementia is a variety of symptoms that apply to a decline in mental ability, not a specific disease. Geriatric psychologists work with dementia by aiding in the diagnosis of this disease. This is done through various cognitive tests and assessments. They will also look at research and potential treatment for dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, accounting for 60-80 percent of dementia cases. Similar to dementia, a geriatric psychologist’s role regarding Alzheimer’s disease is the assessment, treatment, and research of the disease.
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