Service universitaire de psychiatrie de l’adulte et du sujet âgé, Hôpital Corentin-Celton, Groupe hospitalier Hôpitaux Universitaires Paris Ouest, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris (AP–HP), Issy-les-Moulineaux, France, Université Paris Descartes, Sorbonne Paris-Cité, Paris, France, Inserm, U894, Centre de psychiatrie et neurosciences, Paris, France
Increasing life expectancy over the past half century results in higher demand for healthcare of the aging population, therefore adapting the health system to the needs. The prevalence of psychiatric disorders is high in the elderly, especially for depression. Several studies have shown that twenty percent of elderly residents of public facilities meet the criteria for major depressive episode. Depression is a major burden in the elderly, with increased risk of suicide, impaired quality of life and functional autonomy, consequences on somatic morbidity and elevated mortality rates.
It is thus necessary to find out how to improve physicians’ abilities to detect and treat depression in older adults.
Moreover, use of psychotropic drugs is frequent and increases the risk of injury in this population more vulnerable to drug effects. It is also necessary to develop specific gerontopsychiatric wards in large general hospitals and nursing homes.