• Social Work
  • Counseling
  • Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Psychology
Hours: 3 Contact Hours
Author(s): Kathy Black, PhD, MSW, MSG, MPH
Peer Reviewer(s): Roberta R. Greene, PhD, MSW
Item#: B4163
Contents: 1 Course Book (44 pages)

Depression in Older Adults, Updated 1st Edition

Price $29.95
Item # B4163
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Depressive disorders are prevalent among adults age 65 and older, and late-life depression is likely to become an increasingly serious public health problem given the aging of the U.S. population. Depressive disorders affect older people in terms of family interactions, sleeping and eating habits, general health, and the ability to enjoy life. Depression in older adults worsens the outcomes of many medical conditions, is associated with increased morbidity, and is linked to increased suicide rates. Depression in this population is frequently underdiagnosed and untreated, which leads to increased healthcare costs due to unnecessary acute care utilization, excessive primary care and emergency room visits, and the prescription of costly medications. 

The purpose of this course is to help clinicians assess and intervene in late-life depression. The course reviews the primary types of depressive disorders among the geriatric population, including major depressive disorder, minor depression, persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia), and substance/medication-induced depressive disorder. The course discusses the causes of depression in this age group, including biomedical and psychosocial factors, and identifies risk factors. Participants will learn about diagnostic procedures and cultural considerations. Assessment and screening tools are described, including the Geriatric Depression Scale, the Beck Depression Inventory, and the Patient Health Questionnaire. Current treatments such as drug therapy and electroconvulsive therapy are discussed, as are psychotherapeutic approaches including cognitive-behavioral therapy, behavioral therapy, problem-solving treatment, interpersonal psychotherapy, reminiscence therapy, and cognitive bibliotherapy. Useful tables provide practical information such as generic and trade names of antidepressant medications, the differences between depression and dementia, and issues regarding care delivery. 

This basic-level course is written for behavioral health professionals, including social workers, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychologists, and nurses, who work with older adults and their families in primary and tertiary care, acute and long-term care, institutional, home-based, and community settings.

Participants will receive 3 (Clinical Content) continuing education clock hours upon successful completion of this course.

Course Objectives

  • Identify the different types of depressive disorders among older adults.
  • Describe the causes of depression among older adults.
  • Explain how to diagnose depressive disorders among older adults.
  • Describe therapeutic approaches for treating and managing depression among older adults.
Kathy Black, PhD, MSW, MSG, MPH, is a professor of social work and gerontology at the University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee, a Hartford Geriatric Social Work faculty scholar, and a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America. Dr. Black obtained her doctorate degree from the University at Albany, State University of New York, in 2000, master’s degrees in social work and gerontology from the University of Southern California (1988), and a master’s degree in public health from the University of California at Los Angeles (1990). Dr. Black has worked with older adults and their families as a nurse, social worker, and geriatric case manager for more than 25 years in acute care, long-term care, home, and community-based settings.
Roberta R. Greene, PhD, MSW, is a professor and the Louis and Ann Wolens Centennial Chair in Gerontology and Social Welfare and Director of the Life Care Institute at the School of Social Work, University of Texas at Austin. She previously was professor and dean at the Indiana University School of Social Work and has worked at the Council on Social Work Education and the National Association of Social Workers. Dr. Greene has numerous publications, including Resiliency Theory: An Integrated Framework for Practice, Research, and Policy; Social Work with the Aged and Their Families; Social Work Practice: A Risk and Resilience Perspective; Human Behavior Theory and Social Work Practice; and Contemporary Issues of Care. Dr. Greene, who is a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America, is the recipient of the National Association of Social Workers Pioneer Award and the Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work 2005 Career Achievement Award. She is currently conducting research for the John Templeton Foundation.

  • Contact hours will be awarded for up to one (1) year from the date the course is ordered.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that this course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.