Online Buzz: Skype Is the New Prozac

The older you get, the harder it can be to work through depression, say a number of elder experts. Seniors often face a unique set of emotional stressors: difficulty adjusting to retirement, loss of a spouse and diminished health. Plus, many elderly are homebound and cannot get out and socialize easily with others. The lack of regular social interaction in itself can lead to chronic depression.

When doctors prescribe anti-depressants like Prozac or Cymbalta, seniors often balk at the idea because they prefer non-medication approaches. On restricted incomes, many elderly simply can't afford another prescription or psychotherapy. But medical and social researchers are investigating a new form of depression assistance for older adults—personal counseling via computer screen.

A six-week study using Skype and other videoconferencing technology provided tele-sessions between a psychotherapist and each senior participant. When the study concluded, 94 percent of the older adults gave high marks to the tele-therapy.

Learn more about chronic depression in the elderly on the Right at Home blog, where you will always find the latest information about senior wellness and home care.

Right at Home, Inc. is a national organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for those we serve. We fulfill that mission through a dedicated network of locally owned providers of in home care services.