Senior Impact

Geriatric Depression Scale

Depression affects people of all ages but it is particularly common in the elderly. Depression in older adults not only causes distress and suffering, but also leads to impairments in physical, emotional and social functioning. Depression is frequently not treated in older adults due to individuals’ reluctance to report mental health concerns and failure to recognize depression. Older adults can feel much better when depression is treated. Antidepressant medications and counseling are treatment interventions that are recommended for older adults.

Name: ____________________________________________ Date: ____________________________

Choose the best answer for how you felt over the past week:

  Score
1. Are you basically satisfied with your life? yes/no  
2. Have you dropped many of your activities and interests? yes/no  
3. Do you feel that your life is empty? yes/no  
4. Do you often get bored? yes/no  
5. Are you in good spirits most of the time? yes/no  
6. Are you afraid that something bad is going to happen to you? yes/no  
7. Do you feel happy most of the time? yes/no  
8. Do you often feel helpless? yes/no  
9. Do you prefer to stay at home, rather than going out and doing new things? yes/no  
10. Do you feel you have more problems with memory than most? yes/no  
11. Do you think that it is wonderful to be alive now? yes/no  
12. Do you feel pretty worthless the way you are now? yes/no  
13. Do you feel full of energy? yes/no  
14. Do you feel that your situation is hopeless? yes/no  
15. Do you think that most people are better off than you? yes/no  
Total:  


This is the scoring for the scale. Assign one point for each of these answers. Cut-off: normal (0 –5), above 5 suggests depression.

1. no
2. yes
3. yes
4. yes
5. no
6. yes
7. no
8. yes
9. yes
10. yes
11. no
12. yes
13. no
14. yes
15. yes


Source: Courtesy of Jerome A Yesavage, M.D.