Millions of elderly people in the UK could suffer from mental health problems by 2021 if steps are not taken to prevent the crisis, according to a report.
A study backed by the Mental Health Foundation and Age Concern has revealed that over three million British pensioners could suffer from depression severe enough to seriously affect their quality of life.
According to a report in the Herald, the figure, which was put before the Scottish Parliament, is significantly higher than the current figure of 2.4 million.
David Manion, chief executive for Age Concern Scotland, told the paper: "Age discrimination needs to be tackled so that older people can enjoy life to the full and society can reap the benefits that older people can contribute."
Mental health services are becoming increasingly strained, with poor physical health, poverty and loneliness contributing to the growing number of elderly people who suffer from depression.
The report has called on local and national authorities to develop programmes which would ensure that pensioners continue to be engaged in society, thereby making them less likely to suffer from poor mental health.