People get more depressed after the age of 65, says an English study using data on older Australians.
It’s the first to show depressive symptoms continue to increase throughout old age, says lead researcher Dr Helena Chui from the University of Bradford.
“We are in a period of unprecedented success in terms of people living longer than ever and in greater numbers and we should be celebrating this but it seems that we are finding it hard to cope,” she said.
Both men and women reported increasingly more depressive symptoms as they aged, with women initially having more than men.
“However, men showed a faster rate of increase in symptoms so that the difference in the genders was reversed at around the age of 80,” the researchers said.
Levels of physical impairment, the onset of medical conditions and the approach of death all played a part in having the symptoms.
“It seems that we need to look carefully at the provision of adequate services to match these needs, particularly in the area of mental health support and pain management,” Dr Chui said.
“Social policies and ageing-friendly support structures, such as the provision of public transport and access to health care services are needed to target the ‘oldest-old’ adults as a whole.”
This article first appeared on ‘9 News’ on 16 November 2015.