Elderly people require adequate care to ensure their mental wellbeing, says Sally Goldsmith, and they must be listened to, adds David Head
Adrian Chiles is right that we don’t prioritise depression in older people (Let’s recognise that older people get depressed, too – and get them the help they need, 8 July). Over the years, I’ve worked a lot with people with dementia in care homes. Overwhelmingly, I would say that for most of them, depression caused by a confusing and unfamiliar world, loneliness, and a lack of staff to give them free caring attention, was much more of an issue than their dementia.
Yet it was their dementia that was held responsible for the manifested negative reactions to this situation – shouting, challenging and seemingly irrational behaviour, or becoming withdrawn and tearful.