Written for a broad range of mental health professionals, this book explains why depression can be challenging to treat in older adults and describes the most effective interventions. Noted geriatric psychiatrist Gary J. Kennedy draws on extensive clinical experience and research to present current best practices in pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy, other psychosocial and lifestyle interventions, and electroconvulsive therapy. Depressive disorders complicated by psychosis, mania, dementia, and bereavement are addressed in detail, as is suicide prevention. Kennedy emphasizes the importance of integrating care across service settings and building strong partnerships with patients and their families. Quick-reference tables throughout the book distill critical elements of intervention.
See also the author's award-winning Geriatric Mental Health Care: A Treatment Guide for Health Professionals, which provides a framework for treating the most frequently encountered psychiatric problems in this population.
“I am pleased that this critically needed book on a very much neglected topic in health care has become available. Kennedy’s approach is thoughtful, logical, and well organized. He addresses all aspects of geriatric depression, from the basic difficulties of defining depression in the elderly population to the problems of effective treatment. Having all of this information in a single, clearly laid-out volume is invaluable for clinicians and instructors. I found the chapter on diet and exercise to be especially exciting and useful. I plan to use this book in teaching my residents and geriatric fellows. Its strength lies in its comprehensive perspective, making it a welcome addition to the geriatrician's library.”
—Donald A. Davidoff, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; Chief, Department of Neuropsychology, McLean Hospital
“Kennedy is one of our most astute and pragmatic geriatric psychiatrists. In this book, he explains how to recognize depressive symptoms in older adults, including those with chronic physical illness. He discusses effective intervention strategies and applications for diverse settings and providers. Health care practitioners and administrators will gain practical, important insights into both the science and the art of providing optimal care to this undertreated population.”
—Rosanne M. Leipzig, MD, PhD, Gerald and May Ellen Ritter Professor, Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
“Geriatric Depression provides an up-to-date and well-researched discussion of this important topic, in the context of the rapidly evolving health care scene and with reference to DSM-5. Kennedy emphasizes a team approach that includes psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, primary care providers, and nurses. The practical evaluation tools and decision trees will appeal to practitioners.”
—Judy M. Zarit, PhD, private practice, State College, Pennsylvania
“Kennedy has used his long experience as a clinician, investigator, and teacher to produce a book that that is both intellectually stimulating and practical. He has a unique ability to clarify complex concepts related to biological interactions, comorbidity, and psychosocial context, and to arrive at a synthesis that informs evidence-based clinical practice. I expect this book to guide the understanding and care of geriatric depression for many years.”
—George S. Alexopoulos, MD, Founder and Director, Weill Cornell Institute of Geriatric Psychiatry
“A timely and practical resource written by an experienced geriatric psychiatrist who has been involved in teaching and training for several decades. This book is appropriate for any mental health provider working with older adults suffering from depression. I also recommend it as a text in geriatric mental health courses. Kennedy helps practitioners and graduate students increase their knowledge and skills related to etiology, pharmacotherapy, suicide risk, evidence-based psychotherapies and other psychosocial interventions, and collaborative care models for treating depression in older adults.”
—Zvi D. Gellis, PhD, Professor and Director, Center for Mental Health and Aging, School of Social Policy and Practice, University of Pennsylvania
1. The Problem of Depression in Late Life
2. What Causes Depression in Late Life and What Makes It Difficult to Treat?
4. Effective Psychotherapies
5. Other Psychosocial Interventions
6. Diet, Supplements, and Exercise
7. Electroconvulsive Therapy
8. Reducing the Risk of Suicide in Late Life
9. Prevention of Depression: Implications for Collaborative Care
About the Author:
Gary J. Kennedy, MD, is Director of the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry and of the Fellowship Training Program at Montefiore Medical Center and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York. Dr. Kennedy is board certified in Geriatric Psychiatry and Psychosomatic Medicine. He is a past president of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry and a past chair of the Geriatric Mental Health Foundation. Dr. Kennedy is a recipient of an Award for Excellence in Program Innovation from the Archstone Foundation, an Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance for Mental Illness, and the Julia and Leo Forchheimer Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. His research has focused on suicidal ideation, the epidemiology of depression and dementia, psychiatric services in primary care, and novel approaches to bridge community-based agencies and academic medical centers. His book Geriatric Mental Health Care: A Treatment Guide for Health Professionals received a Book of the Year Award in Gerontology from the American Journal of Nursing and in 2014 was listed as one of 100 Great Books for the Social Worker's Library by MSWOnlinePrograms.