An estimated 85% of older people with depression don’t get any help from the NHS. This is a growing concern for Independent Age, the older people’s charity, who in response have published a new, free advice guide to encourage more older people to seek help and tackle this serious issue.
The free guide, called ‘Dealing with Depression’, provides practical information on what can affect mental health, when to see a doctor, where to go for help, staying well and how to help someone you’re worried about.
Figures from the Royal College of Psychiatrists suggest depression may affect one-in-five older people living in the community and two-in-five living in care homes. According to the Health & Social Care Information Centre, the proportion of people in contact with mental health services increases significantly after 70 years old.
However, older people are less likely to be diagnosed with depression, often because symptoms can appear different in older people. They’re also less likely to be referred for talking therapies, despite these being just as effective for them.
Janet Morrison, Chief Executive of Independent Age, says, “Depression is not a normal part of ageing, and no-one should have to suffer alone if they have concerns about their mental health. There is help available, no matter how long you or an older friend or relative have felt like this. Our new guide, ‘Dealing with Depression’, will help you know where to turn.”
The new free guide is suitable for older people, their families, or those who work with them and can be ordered in bulk by healthcare and social care professionals. Call 0800 319 6789 to order, or download it from www.independentage.org/information. The free Independent Age Helpline (0800 319 6789) can offer advice on a range of older people’s issues for those with any concerns.