Age UK’s new report on the state of mental health care for older people in England, Hidden in plain sight: the unmet mental health needs of older people, sheds new light on the current state of NHS mental health services for those in later life.
The scale of the problem surrounding old age mental health cannot be underestimated. An estimated 1 in 4 people over the age of 65 live with a common mental health condition such as depression or anxiety, rising to a staggering 40 per cent of people living in care homes. Yet the Royal College of Psychiatrists has estimated that nearly 85 per cent of older people do not receive any help. Continue reading
Posted in Health, Health and Wellbeing
Tagged Age UK, Age UK blog, Ageing, ageing population, ageing society, Department of Health, depression, Health, Hidden in plain sight, Hidden in plain sight Age UK, mental health, mental health Age UK, mental health later life, mental health older people, mental health taskforce, NHS mental health, older people
It’s the last day of August, and frankly I’m clinging to the hope that this pretty miserable summer will give us at least a few warm days this September before it’s done. So I really don’t want to be thinking about the cold dark days of winter which may be just a couple of months away.
But actually my working days at the moment are spent thinking about nothing else. For many older people, the onset of winter is not a good time, especially if your home is cold and poorly insulated or you cannot afford ever increasing fuel bills.
Over the last ten years, there have been around 26,700 additional deaths each winter, when compared to the other months of the year (ONS). The vast majority of these ‘excess winter deaths’ – more than ninety per cent – are among older people. There is also an associated increase in GP visits, hospital admissions and social care calls due to cold weather. This useful website gives a picture of the situation across England.
This ‘phenomenon’ (as the scientists call it – I prefer the term ‘disgrace’) has been well studied. We know, for example, that the primary risk factor is exposure to cold. And we know that 40 per cent of deaths are due to cardiovascular problems – heart attacks and strokes – and another 30 per cent to respiratory issues. Hypothermia is relatively rare, and influenza is generally only a significant factor when there is an epidemic. Continue reading
Posted in Campaigning, General, Health
Tagged Age UK, Ageing, ageing society, Department of Health, keeping warm, older people, spread the warmth, Spread the Warmth campaign, Warm Homes Healthy People, winter