Most older people can and should enjoy positive mental health
and I can tell you the things to do as an older person
to maximise your chances of that.
If you have a large social network of family and friends,
or even substitutes through clubs or organisations or even pets,
you'll enjoy a higher level of wellbeing from the beneficial effects of company.
I get up and down, you know, like most people,
but on the whole I'm alright because I've got so many activities I do.
You go out and you meet new people
and you go home and you feel different.
I'm sad when I'm on my own. I don't like that.
I think getting out and mixing with people, going places.
Definitely it helps if you do a lot of socialising.
Get out as much as possible. That is the best thing.
As we grow older our brains do normally change
so that we develop a degree of memory loss.
For some people, a small minority, that develops into dementia,
but for the vast majority of people it's more about mild forgetfulness.
- She calls them senior moments. - Senior moments.
It could be a day-to-day thing.
You can go on for ages sometimes and everything is OK
and then suddenly you just can't remember things.
I'm sure I'm not as sharp as I used to be by a long way.
Sometimes I wake up and think, "What day is it? What time is it?"
I'm confused completely.
There's dates and that I can't always remember.
Sometimes you go to do a job and think, "Where did I put the screwdriver?"
You spend half the day looking for it.
There are things we can do to stay sharper mentally for all of us,
and also to delay the onset of dementia
if we were unfortunate enough to get that.
And basically that involves using our minds
through mental activities such as bingo, bridge,
doing crosswords and so on.
The key message is use it or lose it.
We do bingo one afternoon
and we have days out from different clubs,
because we go to different clubs,
so we're quite happy about that.
I do the crossword. That keeps me alert, you know, using my brain.
I don't always finish one but I do them.
I have to try and associate things with places and people.
Famous people's names, sometimes. Helps to remember things.
It's really important how we manage stress.
Stress isn't necessarily a bad thing. Stress gives us energy.
Try and take control.
In that way stress is good for your health,
whereas if you're out of control stress pushes in on you,
it causes depression and can cause physical health problems
including heart disease, strokes and some cancers.
It's easy to get stressed over anything now,
especially in winter and you're at home and it's dark.
There are a small number of older people,
say about one in 50 older people,
who suffer from severe clinical depression
and for which the Health Service, and particularly through your GP,
will provide you with support.
It's very easy when you are on your own,
you can sit at home feeling very depressed.
When my husband died I was really low,
but you have to force yourself to get out
and once you go out you meet friends and that's how I met Liz.
Yeah, and so we keep laughing and that,
and people kind of like you if you laugh, don't they?
I've got a lot more than anybody else.
Not a lot of money but I've got everything else.
Laughter, tears, a bit of everything, you know.
It's quite a contented life, really.
But I'm just a miserable bastard!