Depression in Older People

Today in the news it was announced that significant numbers of older people suffering from depression are not able to access the mental health care they need. Age Concern have said this is often down to “ageist attitudes in health care professionals” and have launched a campaign ‘Down – But Not Out’.

I’ve been having a few thoughts about this issue today:

1. Older people need to be more empowered about asking for what they need – I was frustrated with my Nanna, who, after a knee replacement operation was sent home from hospital to an empty house with no painkillers because she didn’t want to make a fuss.

2. It can be difficult for older people to feel confident, especially if they live alone, or have just had a knee operation, or feel unable to manage with some activities of daily living such as bathing or paying an electricity bill.

3. The examples of difficulties sometimes faced by older people outlined above should be no barrier to accessing services if a strong community network is in place to support and champion older people.

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