Equality News Update: Glasgow’s elderly battling loneliness are turning to anti-depressants

ELDERLY people are increasingly resorting to anti-depressants to cope with loneliness and isolation, charity workers have warned.
One woman, who runs a weekly group on behalf of Glasgow Old People’s Welfare Association (GOPWA), said the club was the only thing that had stopped her resorting to pills.

A recent study of 13,000 elderly people revealed “increased levels of antidepressants being prescribed” to older people within the first year of losing a spouse.

Age Scotland, said helpline staff had taken calls from family members concerned that relatives were taking anti-depressants. The charity said loneliness was likely to be one of the causal factors.

Rae McCarthy, launched, Primrose Friends, at a sheltered housing complex in Whiteinch after council cuts forced the closure of a day centre, run by GOPWA.

She said: “I used to go to the Donald Dewar centre with my husband Pat, 81.

“When it closed, I was lonely and I thought, what can we do?

“Could we not run a club in our sheltered housing complex? So me and Pat set up a club.

“We have 28 members, all between 80 and 90.

“Older people are so depressed. They are lonely. That’s why they are down.

“It saved me from taking anti-depressants.

“I went to see this lady who had cancer. I brought her a bunch of flowers. I thought she wasn’t going to last a year.

“What a lift it gave that lady. She’s still here. We need these clubs to combat loneliness and isolation.

“It stops them going to the doctor to get pills.”

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Read more at:

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/15578747.Glasgow_s_elderly_battling_loneliness_are_turning_to_anti_depressants/