Depression is common throughout the Australian population, and older people are more likely to experience contributing factors such as physical illness or personal loss.
It is thought that between 10 and 15 per cent of older people experience depression and about 10 per cent experience anxiety.1 Rates of depression among people living in residential aged-care are believed to be much higher, at around 35 per cent.2
Unfortunately, many people over 65 still seem to feel there is a stigma attached to depression and anxiety, viewing them as weaknesses or character flaws rather than a genuine health condition.
Older people are also more hesitant to share their experiences of anxiety and depression with others, often ignoring symptoms over long periods of time and only seeking professional help when things reach a crisis point.
The good news is help is available, effective treatments exist for older people and with the right treatment most older people recover.