The proportion of elderly people in the Czech population is increasing. Old age is often associated with loneliness,
which significantly leads to a medical institutionalization. In addition to that, depression, dementia, and alcohol
abuse may occur as a result and cause of further deterioration. We describe a case of a woman who has spent
substantial part of the last five years of her life being hospitalized at departments of psychiatry, neurology, and
internal medicine respectively. Social factors played an important role in this development. The vicious circle of
loneliness, depression, and institutionalization of elderly peoplemay be overcome in several ways, e.g. by an adequate
physical, mental, and social activity, self-education, psychotherapy, outpatients nursing care, and an early diagnostics
and treatment of depression.
old age, loneliness, hospitalization, depression.