Premature nursing home care can result from depression

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Q: Can depression really cause someone to be placed in a nursing home?

A: Just the other day a major study cited some pretty strong evidence that depression left untreated can, indeed, land a loved one in a skilled nursing facility. Dr. Yael Harris at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services studied 141,000 older people living in the community for nearly four years. Nearly 15 percent who reported that they “felt sad or depressed much of the time” were admitted to a nursing home. Diabetes and heart failure were the two most predictive conditions for a nursing home admission while depression came in third.

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