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Christmas 'can cause depression' for many elderly people

Christmas 'can cause depression' for many elderly people
23rd December 2008

One in three people over 55 are facing depression coming into the festive period, according to a national charity.

Age Concern revealed that depression is the most common mental health problem facing the elderly, adding that loved ones should not be seen as pushing their families away, instead being monitored to ensure that their relatives are not suffering.

Gordon Lishman, the director general of Age Concern, said that although many use Christmas as a family affair, some older people spend it alone and it can be a major cause of depression, in turn affecting a person's quality of life.

The charity leader said that both he and his organisation "would urge family members‚ friends and neighbours to be more vigilant about depression in later life and act on any suspicions if they've noticed a deterioration in the mental well-being of older loved ones."

According to Age Concern, symptoms of depression include a loss of self-confidence and a drop in appetite or weight.

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