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In review: depression in older people

A man holding an older person's hand.

This module will update you on how not to miss depression in older people.

Module Summary: This module will update you on how not to miss depression in older people.

Key learning points: 

  • 40% of older people with coexisting physical illness will have depression.
  • It is more treatable in this group than younger people, both with medication and talking therapies.
  • Depression often presents with physical symptoms such as dizziness, pain or weakness.
  • Mention of suicide requires urgent intervention.
  • Complaints of recent memory loss are likely to represent depression rather than dementia.         
  • Anhedonia (the patient no longer enjoying the things they used to) is a key feature of depression and should always be taken seriously.

    Complete the CPD module here to gain your certificate and log 1.5 CPD hours towards revalidation


Dr Peter Bagshaw is a GP and mental health dementia lead at Somerset Clinical Comissioning Group. He is also IAPT and dementia clinical lead at South West Clinical Network.

The full module can be found on the Nursing in Practice Learning website.

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