Category Archives: Depression

We need to address drinking problems in older age

Older people struggle with alcohol problems but despite the growing demographic, there is a big gap in services catering for them


Old age psychiatry services in the UK are only able to take on people with dual diagnosis problems, those who have both substance misuse and an accompanying mental disorder.

There is a large gap in service provision for older people with alcohol problems. Old age psychiatry services in the UK are still only able to take on older people with dual diagnosis problems; those who have both substance misuse and an accompanying mental disorder such as depression, dementia or a psychotic disorder.

In theory there is no age limit for substance misuse services, but such services are often ill-equipped to manage the particular problems faced by older people. For example, they are also not generally able to deliver a home-based service, which is very often what is needed to serve the vast majority over 65s with an alcohol problem.

The last few years have seen new developments in alcohol services in the NHS and the voluntary sector. The voluntary sector has developed considerably, with service providers emerging in areas with high rates of alcohol-related morbidity and mortality.

Loneliness rife among older men

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Many men over 75 suffer from lack of social contact and depression

190,000 British men over 75, who live alone, are lonely according to WRVS research, which identified 36 per cent spend more than 12 hours of the day on their own.

The research found that these men are more likely to be lonely than women, however they are less likely to confide in friends and family about their feelings (11 per cent men, 24 per cent women).

The findings also highlight the extent to which these men are socially isolated with 41 per cent typically having two or less face to face conversations a day and one in 33 (three per cent) having none.

There is widespread agreement amongst experts that loneliness is a serious health issue because it makes it more likely that older people will develop illnesses that reach crisis level and need hospital care.

What service users want from social workers

Good social workers are essential
Peter Beresford
Friday 27 April 2012 15:43

What do service users want from social workers? Social work academic and mental health service user Peter Beresford says that research points to four crucial qualities. He will be speaking about the future of adult social work at Community Care Live on 16 May.


The crucial importance of the social work relationship

Above all else the evidence highlights that service users value the relationship that they have with social workers. It is seen as the crucial starting point for getting help and support on equal terms; for working with rather than on people. Service users talk of relationships based on warmth, empathy reliability and respect. It is the antithesis of form-filling approaches to assessment, which reduce the contact between service users and practitioners to a formulaic and bureaucratic contact.