When Your Golden Years Feel Blue: Recognizing and Battling Depression in the Elderly

Country/area: United States

Organisation: RetireGuide

Organisation size: Small

Publication date: 14/12/2021

Credit: Christian Simmons


Christian Simmons is a writer for RetireGuide and a member of the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education (AFCPE). He covers Medicare and important retirement topics. Christian is a former winner of a Florida Society of News Editors journalism contest and has written professionally since 2016.

Project description:

Through expert interviews and research, this project analyzes the factors that lead to depression and anxiety in older Americans, as well as the steps retirees can take to combat these mental health conditions. This project is especially relevant in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to greater isolation among older people and deeply affected mental health and happiness.

Impact reached:

The biggest impact for the public has been bringing awareness and providing solutions to an issue that affects 20% of adults 55 or older. One month after publication, the project had 184 total page views, with an average time on page between 9 minutes and 14 minutes. Three domains had linked to the project as a resource for their users. The project had been shared 43 times on social media and garnered 59,142 impressions, and readers found a safe space to share their experiences in comments.

Techniques/technologies used:

We adhere to the principles of ethical journalism to ensure quality and transparency in our content. All information included in the project is thoroughly researched and properly sourced from federal agencies, nonprofit organizations and original interviews with reputable professionals with specialized expertise.

In the content discovery of the project, we used Ahrefs and Semrush for keyword targeting and Google Analytics to evaluate demographic data of the traffic to our site. This research informed our topic selection and helped to ensure we were not only addressing readers’ questions, but also we were presenting the information in a way that readers could find through organic internet search.

We promoted the project through paid efforts on social media and tapped into our network of financial and healthcare experts to promote the piece within their own networks.

What was the hardest part of this project?

Our primary target audience for this project is older retirees. Our research taught us that older generations may not be willing or able to recognize mental health conditions within themselves and within their peers. And unfortunately, stigma surrounding depression and anxiety is still common. 

We took great care in our approach to this topic. We sought to provide unique, personalized information to a vulnerable population with a compassionate and sensitive handling of the topic.

We aim to teach our site visitors, not lecture them. We want readers to feel like they are getting help from a smart friend who is able to make them confident and capable when preparting for challenges that come with retirement.

What can others learn from this project?

Many articles exist on finding happiness in retirement, but they jump to the solution of “save money.” This project serves as a resource for attaining and maintaining happiness, offering tips readers can use in their own lives as they face mental health issues.

Our project is designed to provide information, tips, guidance and strategies that go beyond just stating the problem to offer actionable ideas and resources to bring helpful information to the readers that need it the most.

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