LETTER: Depression not a part of aging

An estimated 85 per cent of older people with depression don't get any help from the NHS - this figure is deeply worrying.
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That’s why at Independent Age, the older people’s charity, we want to encourage more older people in the South East to seek help and tackle this serious issue.

To help older people and their families do this, we have brought out a new, free guide called ‘Dealing with Depression’. It 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.

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Figures from the Royal College of Psychiatrists suggest depression may affect one in five older people living in the general 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.

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.

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 will help you know where to turn.

If you’re worried about yourself or a loved one, the ‘Dealing with Depression’ guide is free to order. You can call 0800 319 6789 and order, or download it from www.independentage.org. The free Independent Age Helpline (0800 319 6789) can offer advice on a range of older people’s issues so please do get in touch with any concerns.

Janet Morrison

Chief Executive, Independent Age, Avonmore Road



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