Narrator: This is Science Today. Reaching the age of 65 doesn't always mean easy retirement or the beginning of the golden years. According to University of California, San Francisco psychiatrist Patricia Arean, more often than not, older adults are saddled with chronic illness, which can lead to depression.
Arean: Depression, when it's combined with medical illnesses, is really a serious disorder. Older people who are depressed are more likely to be physically ill. They're also more likely to be hospitalized for their physical illnesses and they tend to die sooner than older people who are not depressed.
Narrator: Arean says many older adults think depression is a normal part of aging and don't seek help. But Arean says not seeing someone or coping with their problems - physical or not - can lead to poor health.
Arean: So, one of the things we teach is to make a list of priorities, basically we call it a problem list and then focus on one thing at a time. The other problems won't necessarily go away. A lot of people find is that if they use this strategy when they solve one problem, some of the other problems kind of disappear.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.