The Portal of Geriatrics Online Education

Depression Management 5: Caregivers and Family Support in Managing Depression in the Older Adult

Depression Management 5: Caregivers and Family Support in Managing Depression in the Older Adult

Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University
Cecilia Borden, RN, Tarae Waddell-Terry, MS
Geriatric Education Center (GEC)
POGOe Id: 
Date Posted: 
Date Reviewed/Updated for Clinical Accuracy: 

Family caregiving involves providing unpaid care to a physically or cognitively impaired older family member, friend, or partner outside the realm of usual family support. (Curry, L. 2006. Educational needs of employed family caregivers of older adults: evaluation of a workplace project. Geriatric Nursing, 27(3), 166-173.) Caregivers are normally the first individuals who witness the first signs of depression in the older adult. However, there are barriers and other factors that impact the caregiver’s ability to adequately recognize these symptoms. With that said, it is vital the caregiver be aware of the warning signs of depression so that they can seek appropriate medical assistance for this debilitating condition.

This module examines the older adult and his/her caregiver's role in recognizing depression, potential risk factors, barriers to identifying depression and tips on how to work through depression. It also includes pre-test, post-test and exercises. A certificate of completion is awarded, after completing the module in its entirety.

Educational objectives: 

Upon completion of this module, the participant will be able to:

  • Identify the needs of the caregiver of a depressed older adult.
  • State impact of caregiving of the depressed older adult.
  • Discuss complications of untreated depression in the older adult.
  • Identify caregiver barriers in recognizing depression.
  • Relate helpful tips for the caregiver.
Additional information/Special implementation requirements or guidelines: 

Technical Requirements and Notes: This learning module uses Adobe Flash media and may require you to add a browser "plug-in" in order to display properly. Most computers already have this free plug-in installed. But, if yours does not, it is very easy to download and install. Try the module first because the software is "smart" enough to detect the Flash player. If the module doesn't begin, you will be automatically prompted to download the plug-in. The module contains links to external websites which will open in a new browser window. Your browser's back button will not return to the module, so these new windows should be closed.

In order to track your progress, you must create an account and fill out a brief demographic profile. Once the profile has been created, you can log directly into the course.

Other Learning Resource Type: 
Estimated time to complete: 
30 minutes
Contact Person/Corresponding Author:

Suggested Citation:
RN and Tarae Waddell-Terry, MS. Depression Management 5: Caregivers and Family Support in Managing Depression in the Older Adult. POGOe - Portal of Geriatrics Online Education; 2010 Available from: