this image shows the word depression multiple times

Depression in the elderly 

With ageing comes understandable stresses. Lack of mobility, pain, bereavement can all contribute to feeling low or feeling depressed. While some people describe depression as “living in a black hole” or having a feeling of impending doom, others feel lifeless, empty, and apathetic. Men, in particular may even feel angry and restless. No matter how it is experienced,depression is different from normal sadness in that it engulfs your day-to-day life

Did you know that a huge 85% of older people with depression receive no help whatsoever from the NHS. This is partly due to the fact they don’t seek help. They feel they should be able to cope and that feeling as they do makes them appear weak. Depression is not a normal part of ageing and can be helped with treatment.

Signs to look for,

  • the person feel hopeless and helpless
  • they lost interest in friends, activities, and things you used to enjoy
  • they feel tired all the time( elderly people tend to sleep more anyway)
  • their sleep and appetite has changed
  • they can’t concentrate or find that previously easy tasks are now difficult
  • they are un-able control your negative thoughts, no matter how much they try
  • they become much more irritable, short-tempered, or aggressive than usual
  • they may be consuming more alcohol than normal or engaging in other reckless behaviour.

There is a useful free guide available called “Dealing with Depression” which is available from Charity, Independent Age. It is packed full of practical advice and tips including when someone elderly should seek help from their Doctor.

You can download a copy here or get a paper copy by calling 0800 319 6789.


Award-winning blogger and former care columnist for Devon Life magazine. I am passionate about helping elderly people and people with dementia live purposeful and independent lives.
Designer of the Dementia Assistance Card and Points Of Light award recipient, Caron hopes to help carers when resources are limited and demand is ever-increasing. I am here to support you.


  1. Many thanks for taking the time to comment on my article about depression in the elderly.I agree that it does read as if there is little NHS help available and thank you for pointing this out. I will edit it making it clear that the reason so few elderly people receive help is that they do not ask for it !! As a former NHS employee, I have nothing but praise for it.

  2. I think that this is a very ill informed piece of nonsense, Can you tell me where you copied and pasted this quote from:
    “Did you know that a huge 85% of older people with depression receive no help whatsoever from the NHS. Depression is not a normal part of ageing and can be helped with treatment.”
    You should be careful what you share as the people reading it may be very vulnerable, you are insinuating that the NHS offer no help to this supposed 85% of people??

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