Responding to the publication of the report 'Undiagnosed, untreated, at risk', into older people and depression, published by Age Concern England, Elizabeth McLennan, Senior Policy Officer at Help the Aged comments:-

"This report is a welcome means of raising awareness of older people and mental health - an issue which is all too often mis-diagnosed and left untreated.

"General Practitioners have a key role to play in more effectively pinpointing possible depression as patients present themselves. Care home staff and managers must also ensure their own knowledge of symptoms associated with depression is improved. It is all too easy for older care home residents people suffering depression to be without the right levels of support and treatment.

"Help the Aged continues to be concerned at the worryingly high levels of age discrimination within health services - something which the Charity's 'Just Equal Treatment' campaign has highlighted. The Government's upcoming Equality Bill should address some of these issues, but a timetable for action is vital to ensure this unfairness is tackled as a priority.

"Mental health issues should not be taboo subjects. More understanding of the treatable nature of conditions such as depression is urgently needed. No older person should ever lack support or help with mental health issues."

Notes

Information on the Help the Aged 'Just Equal Treatment' campaign can be found by visiting helptheaged/campaigns

Help the Aged is the charity fighting to free disadvantaged older people in the UK and overseas from poverty, isolation, neglect and ageism. It campaigns to raise public awareness of the issues affecting older people and to bring about policy change. The Charity delivers a range of services: information and advice, home support and community living, including international development work. These are supported by its paid-for services and fundraising activities - which aim to increase funding in the future to respond to the growing unmet needs of disadvantaged older people. Help the Aged also funds vital research into the health issues and experiences of older people to improve the quality of later life.

Help the Aged urgently needs donations and support to help it in the increasingly challenging fight to free disadvantaged older people from poverty, isolation and neglect.

Help the Aged

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