Background: Home care for older adults is a common phenomenon worldwide because it allows older adults to remain in their home environment. Research has shown that depression is frequently found in older recipients of home care services. Nonetheless, it is often poorly recognized and treated. Untreated or poorly treated depression in older home care recipients has been associated with a variety of negative outcomes, including increased morbidity and mortality, greater likelihood of nursing home institutionalization and higher caregiver distress.
Methods: The present review outlines some of the challenges associated with appropriate recognition and treatment of depression in older home care recipients.
Results: Our review demonstrates that more aggressive management of depressive symptoms and the employment of an interdiciplinary team can result in beneficial outcomes.
Conclusions: Further research is needed, especially in the area of psychotherapeutic interventions as these should be flexible enough to meet the unique and evolving needs of this frail population of older adults.