Brown Medicine HealthTalk Podcast: Depression in Older Adults (Ep. 3)

Sakeena Raza, MD, is a physician in Brown Medicine’s Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine. She specializes in geriatrics at Rhode Island Hospital, and is an assistant professor of medicine at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Dr. Raza earned her medical degree from the Dow Medical College of Karachi University (Pakistan) and completed her residency and fellowship at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR.

In this episode, Dr. Raza discusses depression in older adults. Individuals who experience their first episode of depression later in life are less likely to have a family history or other major mental disorders. Risk factors include gender (female), retirement, loss of routine, loss of spouse, social isolation, living in a nursing home or assisted living facility, and more.

Dr. Raza also reveals what criteria is used by physicians when diagnosing major depression. Family members of elderly patients can help look for warning signs and symptoms including but not limited to loss of interest in activities, weight loss, decrease in appetite, and fatigue. She also discusses the use of medication and side effects, intervention treatments, and how to help a loved one who is going through depression and anxiety.