African American older adults are more likely to be diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and dementia. Assessment of depression, anxiety, and dementia among African American elders is complicated by potential differences in symptom presentation or reporting and a lack of assessment instruments validated for use with ethnically diverse older populations. Disparities in treatment for African Americans elders are exacerbated for several reasons including, failure to access formal treatment, differences in symptomatology response to treatment, lack of available mental health resources, and stigma.
The presentation will describe important issues for mental health researchers and service providers to consider when working with older African Americans. It also provides a review of the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of depression, anxiety, and dementia among this population.