GPs and health professionals are being urged to use a new website to help them improve diagnosis of depression in older people.
Age Concern said more than two million people over the age of 65 have symptoms of depression and only 15% of those with clinical depression ever get treatment. The illness is often wrongly seen as a normal part of getting old but it can be treated if it is spotted early, Age Concern said.
The charity has set up the Take The Challenge interactive programme, which will challenge users to spot the signs of depression in older patients. Participants will then watch a series of short video clips and then be quizzed on general knowledge questions about depression in later life.
The online tool, which has been supported by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), also encourages participants to identify any barriers that can stand in the way of depression being correctly diagnosed and treated.
In an attempt to reduce the numbers of older people suffering from depression, and to erase negative stereotypes around ageing, Age Concern is urging all GPs and other health professionals who work with older people to "Take The Challenge".