OAP depression rate is revealed
P“Pensioners need to make sure they prioritise their mental health – and not just physical conditions – when visiting their GP. They may find that at the end of their appointment they haven’t even touched on their mental health at all.
“It’s important that we change attitudes towards mental health in older people because it isn’t just something that affects younger people.
“Cognitive behavioural therapies can help people with depression, but alarmingly we’ve found that the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme, which aims to refer 12% of pensioners on to treatment is actually referring just 6% of pensioners.
“One of the reasons for that could be because pensioners might have mobility issues which restrict them travelling to treatment.
“Older people with mental health concerns can research MindEd, which helps to educate about mental health in pensioners.”
ENSIONERS in Southport and Formby are diagnosed with depression more than once a week, alarming figures have revealed.According to NHS data, there were 84 new diagnoses of the mental illness in people aged 65 and over in in 2016/17.The data does not reveal the total number of pensioners who were receiving treatment for depression, just new cases diagnosed within the year.Because of this – and the fact that it is likely that there are more people in our area who are yet to seek help – the true number of older people living with depression will be far higher than the data shows.Symptoms of depression can include a lack of interest and inability to enjoy things, feeling tired, being reluctant to engage in usual activities or leave the house, and losing or gaining weight over a short period of time.In Merseyside overall, there were 711 pensioners diagnosed with depression in 2016/17 – a rate of nearly two a day.Of this, 386 were men and 325 were women.According to Age UK, lonliness has been shown to heighten feelings of depression, anxiety, and vulnerability.The charity says that depression in older life can be triggered by bereavement, retirement, and housing issues, among other things.In fact, charity Independent Age says that more than one in three people aged 75 and older experience feelings of loneliness out of their control. In England and Wales, one in every eight households is occupied by a pensioner living alone.Joel Lewis, of Age UK, said: “We know that loneliness and bereavement are massive factors in pensioners depressed.“Often pensioners are fulltime carers for family members which can be isolating in itself, and when pensioners stop working they can also feel lonely. Financial issues from a getting lack of a job can also be a cause of depression.“The chance of getting depression is seven times greater in people with two or more chronic health problems, which older people are more likely to have. Depression is an issue for many elderly people