It is well known that depression is common among the elderly who often are faced with living their final years without a spouse or close friends and family members.    And with the increase in ‘ageing in place’ programs that help keep the elderly in their homes longer, the potential for isolation, loneliness and depression is even greater.

Depression affects all age groups.   The World Health Organization [WHO] recently released a report that predicts that in 20 years more people will be affected by depression than any other health problem.     As noted in a BBC News article, the report warns that this could be a global mental health crisis, especially in developing countries.   In addition to needing to devote more resources to the treatment of depression, the report notes that society needs to be more understanding of the disease and the attitude toward mental health needs to change.