The main problem with geriatric depression is that it is under-diagnosed and under-treated. The goal of this paper is to summarize factors that contribute to this issue. It was found that most methods of diagnosis are ineffective because they do not properly account for all the possible causes of depression, and most scales used today cannot differentiate between depression and other cognitive deficiencies. Depression can be very different for the geriatric population for a variety of reasons, one being comorbidity. Depression is sometimes a precursor to other illnesses common to elderly people, such as neurocognitive disorders, or it can be the consequence of dealing with another serious disease, such as cancer. Environmental factors such as being in a nursing home can also increase depression in the elderly. Current methods of care are either not available or are too expensive for most patients, and the facilities that some of them stay in do not properly educate their staff on how to care for the mental health needs of their patient. Current treatments are not effective for a wide variety of people. Introducing new methods of diagnosis using theories of depression can improve accuracy and efficiency, and continuing research into new treatments and programs can help us lower the number of elderly people suffering from depression.

Semester/Year of Award

Fall 2020


Dr. Dan Florell

Mentor Department Affiliation


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Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level



Biological Sciences