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Mental ills plague assisted living folk

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INDIANAPOLIS, Sep 28, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Indianapolis scientists have found a surprisingly high rate of mental health problems among assisted living residents.

Malaz Boustani of the Indiana University School of Medicine, in a study summarized in the October issue of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, found two thirds of 2,100 assisted-living residents studied exhibited mental health problem indicators. Half suffered from dementia and a quarter exhibited indicators of depression.

More than half the assisted living residents studied took psychotropic medications including antipsychotics, antidepressants or sedatives.

"These findings, that the rate of mental health problems in the assisted living population is as high as the rate of mental health problems in nursing home patients, and much higher than the 6 to 7 percent of individuals with depression or dementia found in the age 65 and older population seen by primary care physicians is rather surprising," said study co-author Malaz Boustani.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.


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