Doctors fail to spot symptoms of depression in 9 out of 10 elderly people.

The Times reports on “our next big public health problem”The Times has reported (£) on revelations by James Warner, Chair of the Old Age Faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, that almost nine out of ten elderly people with depression receive no help because doctors struggle to spot the symptoms or confuse it with dementia. Describing it as “our next big public health problem”, Dr Warner says that “depression is a big issue, it’s often unrecognised and older people are at significant risk of suicide”. He adds that “a lot of these people will have lonely lives and it’s not being picked up because they don’t speak to anyone. It really worries me that a large number of people are out there who have depression and aren’t being adequately treated”. The article (“Depression in old age ‘is the next big health crisis’“, 08/04/14) adds that the Royal College of Psychiatrists has estimated that as many as 85% of older people with depression get no help from the NHS.