Study finds link between unmanaged depression, nursing home admissions

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Elderly people with unmanaged depression are more likely to end up in a nursing home, according to new study results.

Appropriate identification and management of depression could prevent or postpone the need for long-term care services, according to Dr. Yael Harris, of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in Baltimore. The study was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Researchers analyzed data from the Health Outcomes Survey, which included 137,000 elderly, and found that a total 13,261 respondents said they had "felt sad or depressed much of the time" during the past year in the survey. By the end of the study period, 13 % had been admitted to a nursing home, according to the study report.