CALL TO ACTION
Depression is not a natural part of aging. However, many older adults suffer with mental distress for a variety of reasons. Health issues prevent many from participating in activities they once enjoyed. A loss of close friends or a decrease in mobility may lead to isolation or loneliness. Persons who have enjoyed independence may have to rely on others to take care of their most personal, intimate needs.
Social ties are one of the strongest predictors of well-being. About 12% of adults aged 65 or over report that they “rarely” or “never” receive the social and emotional support they need. Depression can impair physical, mental, and social functioning of older adults. In general, the depressed older adult is less likely to seek care or services for their health conditions and have poorer outcomes without treatment.
According to the United Health Foundation, America’s Health Rankings Senior Report 2016, Oklahoma is ranked 46th in the nation for depression in adults aged 65 and over. Depression in older adults in Oklahoma is 18.3%, compared to the national average of 13.4%. Baseline data for residents in Oklahoma nursing homes who have depressive symptoms is 7.9%, compared to the national average of 6.7%. The original measures used for this focus area were changed in 2017 to reflect the currently used measures of the Health Rankings Senior Report with a 5% relative improvement rate as the goal. These are sourced from Oklahoma vial statistics data and BRFSS results as posted on the OK2SHARE web based data portal, which is open to the public.
Reduce the percentage of adults aged 65 and older who self-report their mental health was not good for 14 or more days during the past 30 days from 8.7% (BRFSS 2015, listed on OK2SHARE) to 8.2% or less by 2019.
Reduce the rate of deaths by suicide among adults aged 65 and older from 19.6 per 100,000 (listed on OK2SHARE, vital statistics) to 18.8 or less by 2019.