Mental health disorders in terms of an aging population are discussed in this review. Statistics on depression in later life are presented with a discussion of physical health comorbidities. This presentation postulates that the health care infrastructure currently in place is inadequate to meet the present, much less the future, needs of this population. The care of the depressed elder will require the coordinated effort of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurse practitioners and advanced practice psychiatric nurses, internal medicine gerontologists, internal medicine and family medicine general physicians, community agencies, and volunteers.
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