At the same time, depression reduces an elderly person's ability to rehabilitate.Studies of nursing home patients with physical illnesses have shown that the presence of depression substantially increases the likelihood of death from those illnesses.Medications are among the most commonly used treatments for insomnia and can be quite effective.However, medications should always be used judiciously and in conjunction with established, non-pharmacological changes to behavior.
But the risk of side effects or potential reactions with other medicines must be carefully considered.
Geriatric experts often favor treating insomnia in the elderly with the hormone melatonin, or a low-dose formulation of the tricyclic antidepressant doxepin (Silenor).
Other potentially sedating antidepressants, such as Remeron or trazodone, are also sometimes prescribed for both purposes.
Using a series of standard questions, a primary care doctor can provide an effective screening for depression, allowing for better diagnosis and treatment.
Doctors are encouraged to routinely screen for depression.
Depression impacts older people differently than younger people.