Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Depression in the elderly

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I wrote briefly before about how my mother viewed depression, that it was simply a matter of getting on with things. In her generation, admitting to being depressed or experiencing any other kind of psychological problem is all too often equated with being weak. Yet depression, in particular, is a common problem in old age, although it is often missed because people don't recognise the symptoms or the symptoms get misattributed to health problem frequently experienced in old age.

So it's good news to hear of a new national peer-education program by the Australian national depression initiative beyondblue in conjunction with the Council on the Ageing (COTA). Over the next 18 months COTA will run a series of information sessions across Australia to increase awareness of depression and where to go for help.

The scheme is based on a pilot program undertaken in South Australia in 2006 which examined the effectiveness of using existing peer support networks to deliver specific depression-awareness education to older people.

“Feedback from participants was extremely
positive with many people stating how
they had struggled with the stigma of
depression for many years."
Ian Yates, COTA SA Chief Executive

beyondblue report that following the sessions, the number of people who could correctly identify the symptoms of depression rose from 28% to 70%. Now that can only be a good thing, right?



kmt said...

My mother-in-law recently passed away but before that she was very depressed. How could she not be when her husband had just died, she moved into a nursing home, she was losing mobility quickly and showing increasing symptoms of Alzheimer's?

We were told that the medication that they put her on for depression was what was causing her neck to be sore and not support her head properly.

As a family it was hard to know what to do.

SeaSpray said...

Hi – just want to let you know that I do enjoy the memes and I did write about the 5 reasons why I blog and for some reason too much heart came out in it and I need to chop it down. So, I will post it soon. 

SeaSpray said...

KMT-I am sorry for your loss and the difficult time you went through.

Dr. Deb said...

This is SUCH an important topic. What a great post.

Meera said...

It is heart-touching post about depression in the elderly Thanks for this post buddy.