Anxiety and depression are common, but often misunderstood and under-diagnosed elements of aging. A new book, Late-Life Depression and Anxiety, edited by Art Walaszek, MD, provides a guide for health care providers to better diagnose and treat older adults with depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts.
“While they can be common, anxiety and depression are not normal parts of aging,” Dr. Walaszek said. “This book is intended to be a guide for empowering providers to better navigate how to screen, diagnose and treat older adults who are experiencing anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts.”
By turning theory into practice, the guide offers health care providers an informed examination of what depression, anxiety, and suicide prevention look like for older adults today. The chapter authors, all of whom are leading educators and practitioners, bring together a blend of tools, including instruments for identifying depression and anxiety and estimating risk of suicide, up-to-date information on counseling older adults with respect for their individual beliefts and cultures, including those in the LGBTQ+ community; and best practices for educating older adults and their families on mental health and suicide prevention.
Walaszek is one of only about 2,000 geriatric psychiatrists in the United States. His background in both mental health and the nuances of aging and dementia offers a unique perspective and understanding of a complex public health topic. Late-Life Depression and Anxiety can be ordered through American Psychiatric Association Publishing.
About Dr. Walaszek:
Art Walaszek, MD, is a board-certified geriatric psychiatrist and professor of psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. He provides care to older adults with depression, anxiety, dementia, and other mental health conditions, and teaches others to do the same. Walaszek is Co-leader of the Outreach, Recruitment and Engagement Core at the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, and Public Health Leader at the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute. His background in both mental health and the aging and dementia care offers a unique perspective and understanding of a complex public health topic. His first book, Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia, was published in 2020 and focused on the care of persons living with dementia, especially those experiencing agitation, depression, or psychosis.