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Late-life depression in the older adults living in an institution and at home [Journal of Aging and Long-Term Care]
Journal of Aging and Long-Term Care. 2018; 1(1): 4-16 | DOI: 10.5505/jaltc.2017.09797  

Late-life depression in the older adults living in an institution and at home

Mithat Durak
Department of Psychology, Abant Izzet Baysal University, Turkey

Psychological well-being in older adults is an important issue in Geropsychology and there is an increasing interest about the older adults living in the community and at home. Understanding markers of well-being associated with either living in an institution or at home would help to explore certain unique variables that make the older adults’ life difficult. Among older adults, depression decreases the quality of life and affect the individual’s lifespan significantly. However, there have been few studies investigating institution-specific or home-specific markers of depression which are the aims of the current study. The present study aims to make comparison between 924 the older adults residing in institutions to 846 the older adults residing at home in terms of socio-demographic variables and health related variables. Women living at home had higher depression scores than women in the institution. Conversely, men living in institutions were more depressed than living at home while married older adults at home have lower depression scores. Education and income are inversely associated with depression scores. As the number of illnesses increases so does the level of depression. Finally, there is a negative relationship with perceptions of prognosis and perceptions of threat regarding their medical conditions and depression. The interaction of gender, income and residence type is discussed in detail within a cultural context. Possible implications are suggested to improve the psychological well-being of older adults and specific needs of different populations of older adults based on their residence type are addressed.

Key Practitioner Message
- Investigating the influence of residence type (institution versus home) on the older adults’ psychological well-being helps practitioners to understand the psychological effect of environment.
- Examining the association between socio-demographic variables (gender, education, income, marital status) or health related variables (perceptions of prognosis and threat regarding their medical conditions) and late-life depression reveals individual markers in relation to depression.
- Older adults residing at home are more vulnerable to suffer from depression due to their difficulty in accessing health services and tendency to disregard their health care needs.
- Older adults having physical illnesses had higher scores than their counterparts
- Perceptions regarding the physical illness might be one of the important topics for health care professionals.
- Perceptions about physical illness might be focal point to explore relationship with mental health.

Acknowledgement: This research was supported by a grant from The Scientifc and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) (Project No: SOBAG-110K039).

Keywords: Older adults, depression, residence type, gender, education, income, marital status, health related variables, perceptions about illness

Mithat Durak. Late-life depression in the older adults living in an institution and at home. Journal of Aging and Long-Term Care. 2018; 1(1): 4-16

Corresponding Author: Mithat Durak, Türkiye

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