Depression and anxiety in older people can happen for different reasons, such as dealing with a physical illness or personal loss. But it's important to remember that depression and anxiety are not a normal part of ageing or a weakness of character – they're a health issue just like any other. The good news is that effective treatments are available, and with the right support, you can recover.
Older people may be more at risk of depression and/or anxiety due to:
- an increase in physical health problems/conditions e.g. prostate cancer, cardiovascular disease, dementia, stroke
- chronic pain
- side-effects from medications
- losses – e.g. relationships, independence, work and income, self-worth, mobility and flexibility
- social isolation
- significant change in living arrangements e.g. moving from living independently to a care facility
- admission to hospital
- certain anniversaries and the memories they evoke.
If you're concerned about depression and anxiety, learn more and talk to your doctor if you have any questions – just like you would for your blood pressure or arthritis, or any other health issue. You don't have to put up with doing it tough – support is available.
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