General News Research — 16 October 2013
Depression found in half of aged-care residents

More than half of permanent aged-care residents across the country show signs of depression.

A report to be released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has found that as of June last year, 52 per cent exhibited symptoms. bigstockphoto_Severe_Depression_3067531

A similar percentage of new residents entering between 2008 and last year exhibited similar signs, placing an added burden on the aged-care system.

Researcher Pamela Kinnear said 73 per cent of newly admitted residents indicating symptoms of depression required a high level of care.

“The odds of newly admitted residents with symptoms of depression having behaviours that impact on care needs were 139 per cent higher than for those without symptoms,” the report said.

It also found more than one in 10 new residents with moderate to major symptoms of depression were, for funding purposes, characterised as having mild symptoms under the Aged Care Funding Instrument.

Dr Kinnear told The Australian: “Once patient needs are decided, the funding kicks in. What that means is those people’s care needs aren’t always adequately considered.”

Women showed signs of depression slightly more than did men, at 53 per cent compared with 51 per cent.

Among newly admitted residents, those born outside Australia and those with language preferences other than English had higher proportions of moderate and major depression symptoms. The report is the most comprehensive into the prevalence of depression in Australia’s aged-care community, and the most detailed look at the Aged Care Funding Instrument to date.

This article first appeared in The Australian on 16 October, 2013.

MORE than half of permanent aged-care residents across the country show signs of depression.

A report to be released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has found that as of June last year, 52 per cent exhibited symptoms.

A similar percentage of new residents entering between 2008 and last year exhibited similar signs, placing an added burden on the aged-care system.

Researcher Pamela Kinnear said 73 per cent of newly admitted residents indicating symptoms of depression required a high level of care.

“The odds of newly admitted residents with symptoms of depression having behaviours that impact on care needs were 139 per cent higher than for those without symptoms,” the report said.

It also found more than one in 10 new residents with moderate to major symptoms of depression were, for funding purposes, characterised as having mild symptoms under the Aged Care Funding Instrument.

Dr Kinnear told The Australian: “Once patient needs are decided, the funding kicks in. What that means is those people’s care needs aren’t always adequately considered.”

Women showed signs of depression slightly more than did men, at 53 per cent compared with 51 per cent.

Among newly admitted residents, those born outside Australia and those with language preferences other than English had higher proportions of moderate and major depression symptoms. The report is the most comprehensive into the prevalence of depression in Australia’s aged-care community, and the most detailed look at the Aged Care Funding Instrument to date.

– See more at: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/depression-found-in-half-of-aged-care-residents/story-e6frg8y6-1226740560937#sthash.EOCk4FX5.dpuf

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