The purpose of this study was to consider gender differences in depressive symptoms, agitation, resistiveness to care, physical function, and use of psychotropic medications in older adults with moderate to severe dementia in nursing homes. Sixty-seven nursing homes and 889 residents from two states were included. The majority of the participants were female (n = 640, 72%) and White (n = 618, 70%) with a mean age of 86.58 years (SD = 10.31). Differences by gender with regard to age, physical function, depressive symptoms, agitation/aggression, and resistiveness to care were tested using multivariate analysis of variance. Older females with moderate to severe dementia present with more depressive symptoms (anxiety, sadness, and somatic complaints) than males. Males present with more aggressive behavior and are more likely to receive anticonvulsants. Caregivers should focus on preventing and managing depressive symptoms including anxiety, sadness, and somatic complaints among older females and aggressive behavior in older males with dementia.
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