Depression in Late-Life

Archstone Foundation is exploring new ways to improve the quality of life for the one in five older adults who suffer from depression.

Depression among older adults is a serious health problem, often leading to unnecessary suffering, impaired functioning, increased mortality, and excessive use of health care resources. It is estimated that 20% of older adults in the community, and as many as 50% of older adults in nursing homes experience depression. 

Despite recent advances, older adults suffering with depression often do not seek or receive effective treatment.  Older adults at particularly high risk for not receiving effective depression care include minorities, older men, and those with multiple medical problems, less formal education, and/or lower socioeconomic status. Closing gaps in care to improve access to effective depression treatment is important and timely.  One of the most promising approaches to improving the reach, and effectiveness of late-life depression care, is through the systematic involvement of community-based organizations, family, and primary care clinics that work with older adults.  Community-engaged partnerships have tremendous potential to improve:  1) access to care; 2) engagement in treatment; 3) the patient care experience; and 4) quality of care for depressed older adults.

Through its Depression in Late-Life Initiative, the Foundation seeks to improve the quality of life for adults, 65 and older, suffering from depression. A partnership with the University of Washington (UW) and the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) to implement the Care Partners: Bridging Families, Clinics, and Communities to Advance Late-Life Depression Care project will fund innovative approaches to treating depression in older adults through community-engaged partnerships. These partnerships are working together to deliver collaborative care for depression.