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Home cook reveals her secret recipe for the ‘best ever’ sausage rolls

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home cook reveals her secret recipe for the best ever sausage rolls

A home cook has revealed the secret ingredients she uses to create the ultimate homemade sausage rolls for her family.

The mother, from Canberra, shared her simple recipe on social media showing exactly how she made the pastries costing her just 89 cents per roll.

She used sausage mince, mince, puff pastry, carrots, onions, Vegeta beef stock powder, dry herbs, egg, Dijon mustard, and Vegemite.

‘Try Vegemite, gives meat a real depth of flavour,’ she wrote in a Facebook group.

An Australian home cook has revealed the secret ingredient she uses to create her ultimate homemade sausage rolls for her family

An Australian home cook has revealed the secret ingredient she uses to create her ultimate homemade sausage rolls for her family

An Australian home cook has revealed the secret ingredient she uses to create her ultimate homemade sausage rolls for her family

She was able to make four rolls per sheet, and she got 26 rolls out of the pastries. The mother said her grocery billy included $9 on sausage mince, $8.49  five-star mince, $4.76 puff pastry, two carrots for 50 cents and two onions for 50 cents.

‘Not adding in my pantry items, it comes to 89 cents for each sausage roll,’ she said. 

To make the sausage rolls, she sautéed finely grated carrots and chopped onions in a frying pan with a dash of oil until soft.

Next, she seasoned the vegetables with salt and pepper, Vegeta, herbs, a teaspoon of mustard and a teaspoon of Vegemite.

‘I like to add flavouring here as it’s easier to mix into meat,’ she explained.

In a mixing bowl, she mixed the sausage mince, mince and the vegetable mix until well combined.

Then she laid a sheet of pastry on a flat surface, cut sheet in half horizontally, and spooned the mince mixture down along the long side of the sheet, shaping the mince into a long sausage shape. 

She brushed the edge with a little egg mixture, roll to enclose filling and place the pastry on an oven tray, edge side down. She brushed top of the rolls with egg mixture before sprinkling sesame seeds on top.

‘If feeling extra fancy add sesame seeds on top,’ she said. 

She baked in the oven at 190 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown, and cooked through.

In a mixing bowl, she mixed the sausage mince, mince and the vegetable mix until well combined

In a mixing bowl, she mixed the sausage mince, mince and the vegetable mix until well combined

Then she laid out a sheet of pastry on a flat surface, cut sheet in half horizontally, and spooned the mince mixture down along the long side of the sheet, shaping the mince into a long sausage shape

Then she laid out a sheet of pastry on a flat surface, cut sheet in half horizontally, and spooned the mince mixture down along the long side of the sheet, shaping the mince into a long sausage shape

She sautéed finely grated carrots and chopped onions in a frying pan and then season with salt and pepper, Vegeta, herbs, a teaspoon of mustard and a teaspoon of Vegemite. She cut sheet in half horizontally, and spooned the mince mixture down along the long side of the sheet, shaping the mince into a long sausage shape

She brushed the edge with a little egg mixture, roll to enclose filling and place the pastry on an oven tray, edge side down.

She brushed the edge with a little egg mixture, roll to enclose filling and place the pastry on an oven tray, edge side down.

She brushed top of the rolls with egg mixture before sprinkling sesame seeds on top

She brushed top of the rolls with egg mixture before sprinkling sesame seeds on top

She brushed the edge with a little egg mixture, roll to enclose filling and place the pastry on an oven tray, edge side down. She brushes top of the rolls with egg mixture before sprinkling sesame seeds on top

Homemade sausage rolls recipe

INGREDIENTS 

2 sausage mince  

500g premium mince

Puff pastry 

2 carrots, finely grated

2 onions, chopped

PANTRY STAPLES

Salt and pepper

Vegeta beef stock powder

1 teaspoon Vegemite 

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Dry mixed herbs 

Sesame seeds 

1 egg 

METHOD

Preheat oven to 190C. 

Sauté carrots and onions in a frying pan with a dash of oil until soft.

Season the vegetables with salt and pepper, Vegeta, herbs, mustard and Vegemite. 

In a mixing bowl, mix the sausage mince, mince and the vegetable mix until well combined.

Lay out a sheet of pastry on a flat surface, cut sheet in half horizontally, and spoon the mixture down along the long side of the sheet, shaping the mince into a long sausage shape. 

Brush the edge with a little egg mixture, roll to enclose filling and place the pastry on an oven tray, edge side down. Brushes top of the rolls with egg mixture, then sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

Bakes in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown, and cooked through.

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The mother said the recipe suits all budgets – and how spending a bit more money can make a huge difference to your sausage rolls.

‘If budget allows, I find premium mince doesn’t drip out as much fat or shrink as much,’ she explained. 

But if you’re looking for a budget friendly option or opt for a three-star mince, she suggested changing baking trays half way through baking. 

‘You may need to swap sausage rolls to a new oven tray during cooking as the fat from the mince can make the bottom a bit soggy,’ she explained. 

To freeze them to eat later, she suggested cooking them briefly in the oven. 

‘I just slightly cooked in oven if I plan on freezing them,’ she said.

‘So when I reheat, I take them straight from the freezer and put them into the oven to finish cooking so the pastry is a lovely golden colour.’  

Many were amazed by her ‘best ever’ recipe, while others said they couldn’t wait to make it at home.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Robot hip replacement gets you home from the hospital and walking the same day

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robot hip replacement gets you home from the hospital and walking the same day

Just a few months ago, James Franklin was struggling to do everyday tasks because of constant pain in both of his hips.

The pain that had built up over five years had become so severe that getting up from his office chair, or carrying shopping, would leave him wincing with agony. Even what should have been a ten-minute stroll to the supermarket took half an hour, and over-the-counter painkillers had little effect.

‘It got to the stage where the pain was 24/7,’ says James, 60, who works in telecommunications and lives in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, with his wife Sharon. ‘At night, I could feel the pain as I lay still in bed. I could never get comfortable and it was getting me down.’

James Franklin, 60, from County Durham, was struggling to do everyday tasks

James Franklin, 60, from County Durham, was struggling to do everyday tasks

James Franklin, 60, from County Durham, was struggling to do everyday tasks

Like 2.4 million people in England, James had osteoarthritis in his hips, where the spongy cartilage covering the joints becomes damaged and leads to pain, swelling and difficulty moving, and he was told both hips needed replacing.

Now following two hip replacements, James’s agony is becoming a distant memory. But what is more remarkable is that James was up walking and ready to be discharged just five-and-a-half hours after arriving at the hospital — all thanks to his surgery being carried out, in part at least, by a robot.

According to James Webb, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon who carried out the operations on James’s hips, this high-tech technique — where surgery is guided by a robotic arm — is a ‘game changer’ for not just hip, but knee replacements, too.

Like 2.4m people in England, James had very painful osteoarthritis in his hips (stock image)

Like 2.4m people in England, James had very painful osteoarthritis in his hips (stock image)

Like 2.4m people in England, James had very painful osteoarthritis in his hips (stock image)

‘When I started my surgical training in the Nineties, it was usual for a hip replacement patient to be in bed for days and stay in hospital for a week or more,’ says Mr Webb, who works at Tees Valley Hospital in Middlesbrough and BMI Woodlands Hospital in Darlington. ‘Then there were six to eight weeks of at-home recovery, plus physiotherapy to get full movement back again.

‘Now, with robotic assistance, the operation is much more accurate and refined, so patients can be walking in about two hours and back home soon after on the same day. They can even be driving within a week and resume their active, normal lives. It’s a game changer for patients.’

For some years, surgical robots have been used to carry out cardiac, gastrointestinal and gynaecological operations, as well as in prostate and bladder cancers.

The approach is not without controversy and risks, not least because they require highly specialised training for the surgeon and can be prone to electrical faults.

In 2015, a 69-year-old man died while having a heart operation, where a surgeon was using a robot, called Da Vinci, to repair a valve. It led to a suspension of cardiac surgery at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

The use of robotic assistance in joint-replacement surgery is a relatively new innovation.

Traditionally, an arthritic hip is treated with painkillers and anti-inflammatories, followed by physiotherapy to mobilise the stiff joint, and possibly a steroid injection.

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34873712 8881781 image a 23 1603750507279

After a short operation done in part by a robot James walked the same day

Surgery is an option in severe cases, where the damaged joint is removed and replaced with an artificial one. Each year, more than 100,000 patients have their hip replaced in the UK. It takes away pain in 85 per cent of cases and lasts at least 15 years.

However, if the fit of the artificial joint is even slightly off, it can lead to patients having legs of different lengths, poor muscle function, or a joint that easily dislocates.

Using robots allows greater precision — and this accuracy means less damage to surrounding muscle and nerves, which allows for quicker recovery times.

James was offered the chance to have both hips replaced using the Stryker Mako robot, a device about the size of a small fridge, which has a mechanical arm attached to it that guides the surgeon during the procedure.

As the £1 million technology is relatively new, just a few NHS hospitals — in Birmingham, Exeter and Portsmouth — are using it, along with around a dozen private hospitals across the country. The robot is used both before and during the operation, which costs £13,500 privately for each hip.

Before the procedure, a CT scan is taken of the hip, which the Mako software uses to build a detailed, 3D model of the joint and surrounding area. This shows the surgeon how much bone to remove, the cuts to make into the damaged joint, the size of the implant to use and precisely where it should be placed (although the same type of implant is used as with conventional surgery).

The data is then uploaded to a computer which guides the robotic arm during surgery.

The idea is that it means the implant will fit perfectly, with less of the healthy tissue and bone being damaged during the operation, which can often occur in traditional surgery.

The operation, which takes roughly the same time as traditional surgery — around 40 minutes for a hip replacement and 50 minutes for a knee replacement — can be carried out using a spinal anaesthetic rather than a general anaesthetic, which helps to cut the recovery time, too.

James used his work medical insurance to have the operations done privately.

He had his right hip replaced in March, and the left in September — both with the Mako robot. It was the promise of a rapid recovery which appealed to him.

The procedure starts with the surgeon making a 10 cm vertical incision (smaller than with traditional surgery) in the side of the hip. The hip joint is dislocated and the femoral head, the ball part of the ball-and-socket joint, is removed from the socket and cut off with a saw on the robot’s arm, with any remaining cartilage inside the socket cleared away by the robot, too.

Information about the procedure is displayed on a screen throughout, allowing the surgeon to check the robot is cutting the bone as planned. The new implant is then guided into place by the robot, making sure it is correctly aligned.

‘Traditionally it would be a surgeon’s experience and expertise that would decide where to make the cuts when carrying out this surgery and which size implant to use,’ says Mr Webb.

‘But with this approach all the cuts are already worked out and programmed into the robot’s arm. Each cut will be within 1 mm of accuracy and it is programmed to stop instantly if it veers away by only a fraction.’

Despite the robot doing the work, the surgeon remains in control of the procedure the whole time, he says. ‘I still make the incision and expose the joint, but use the robot as a precise tool to prepare the bone and align the correct implant,’ says Mr Webb.

CITIZEN SCIENCE: The medical breakthroughs helped by ordinary people 

This week: Cancer

MEMBERS of the public are almost as good as trained pathologists at identifying breast cancer cells, suggests an online research project called Cell Slider by the charity Cancer Research UK.

The two-year project, launched in 2012, asked almost 100,000 members of the public or ‘citizen scientists’ to analyse 180,000 images to look for breast cancer cells.

Each underwent online training before. The study was set up to see whether the public could be reliably used in medical research, to free the time of pathologists who analyse samples to diagnose disease. The slides used in the study were from breast cancer patients who had already been treated. When the results were checked against 3,000 samples that had been previously analysed by a pathologist, the public were found to give the same answer in nine out of ten cases.

Paul Pharoah, a professor of cancer epidemiology at the University of Cambridge and senior author on the study, published in the journal EBioMedicine in 2015, said: ‘The availability of citizen scientists ought to make it possible to do research on a much larger scale. The results from this study were very promising.’

 

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‘All hip replacement surgery carries the risk of infection, bleeding, blood clots, dislocation of the new joint and a leg length difference —but the Mako aims to reduce these as the procedure is more precise — in particular, the risks of dislocation and difference in leg length.’

Research, including a study of 80 patients published in The Bone and Joint Journal in 2018, shows patients who have this robot surgery suffer less post-operative pain and have a much faster recovery — usually about two weeks compared to six with the conventional method. Most patients are out of hospital within 24 hours, instead of three or four nights.

However, whether a total hip replacement using a robot will last longer than the traditional method is not yet known.

‘If it [joints via robotic surgery] does last longer, it may be more suited to younger patients, who tend to be more active,’ says Professor John Skinner, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore.

James had his operations with a spinal anaesthetic, which numbs the body from the naval down.

While James had some pain and soreness in the days after the operation, he is keeping active to avoid the joint becoming stiff.

The first hip took about three months to feel completely pain-free after surgery and he expects the same will happen with the left one, too.

‘For the first time in years I don’t worry about my hips and everything being a struggle,’ he says.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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When signs of dementia could actually be depression: Brain decline hiding mental illness

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when signs of dementia could actually be depression brain decline hiding mental illness

Paul Garnett felt ‘incredibly embarrassed’ explaining to his GP at the age of 71 that his depression was out of control. ‘I felt so ashamed of myself — a man who couldn’t cope,’ he says, recalling the difficult months that led to the appointment with his doctor.

‘Everything felt so bleak once I’d stopped working,’ recalls Paul, now 73. ‘I had this morbid feeling that I’d achieved nothing in my life. I was eaten up with self-loathing.’

Though he’d experienced mental health problems since his 30s, Paul had always managed to continue working.

‘I felt I had to be the strong one and I was able to keep my feelings buried,’ says Paul, who lives in Manchester.

He’d had a difficult childhood, and then his wife had suffered a series of devastating miscarriages. His GP had prescribed anti-depressants — and these had helped.

Paul Garnett from Droylsden, Manchester. Paul, 73, suffered severe depression since he retired two years ago

Paul Garnett from Droylsden, Manchester. Paul, 73, suffered severe depression since he retired two years ago

Paul Garnett from Droylsden, Manchester. Paul, 73, suffered severe depression since he retired two years ago

But after retiring at 70 from his job as a retail manager, Paul’s coping mechanisms started to unravel. He began drinking more and stopped eating regularly.

‘Sometimes, I couldn’t stop crying; or I’d become angry and verbally abusive with my family — the people who loved me most,’ he recalls. ‘My behaviour was out of character.’

Paul isn’t unusual. One in five people over the age of 65 experience depression or anxiety, according to NHS England — about the same rate as the rest of the population. With older patients, though, there are concerns that doctors ignore depression or misdiagnose the disease as dementia.

LOCKDOWN HAS WORSENED MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES

This year, it’s likely that the pandemic has pushed up rates of depression among older people, according to the charity Independent Age.

‘With Covid-19, we’ve seen an increase in mental health problems such as depression,’ says Deborah Alsina, the charity’s chief executive, as it launches a report about mental health in later life.

‘For many, the pandemic added to the stress, loneliness and anxiety they were already experiencing,’ she says.

The charity found that 75 per cent of older people have experienced anxiety or low mood at least once since turning 65, and one in ten felt like this regularly or all the time.

Paul's wife persuaded him to get help and he was referred to an Age UK mental health assessor who arranged a programme of talking therapy that has transformed his life

Paul's wife persuaded him to get help and he was referred to an Age UK mental health assessor who arranged a programme of talking therapy that has transformed his life

Paul’s wife persuaded him to get help and he was referred to an Age UK mental health assessor who arranged a programme of talking therapy that has transformed his life

‘This is an urgent problem,’ Deborah says.

Indeed, data from the Office for National Statistics showed that the mental health of two in five of the over-70s — that’s 2.9 million people — worsened during lockdown.

And there is increasing concern, experts say, that not only is the impact of depression and anxiety often far worse for older people, they are also less likely to be treated for it.

‘When younger people are affected, they generally become lethargic and withdraw from life,’ explains Dr James Warner, clinical director of older adults mental health services at Central and North West London NHS Trust.

‘However, with the elderly, depression reduces them to a state of extreme agitation.’

There is evidence that retirees are particularly vulnerable to depression and anxiety through loss of identity and self-confidence when they stop working.

‘Older people also face isolation and multiple bereavements, as well as a higher risk of chronic pain disorders,’ says Dr Warner.

‘Men and women who have managed all their lives — bringing up families, working — can become indecisive to the point of paralysis, wringing their hands in despair, the total absence of pleasure in their lives etched on their faces.’

Worse still, the over-65s face an additional problem when it comes to getting treatment: ageism.

Only six per cent of people referred for counselling are over 65, despite this age group making up 18 per cent of the population, according to a survey of over-65s for Age UK and NHS England published earlier this year.

And this is despite evidence which shows that older people who are referred for talking therapies respond well — and often do better than younger patients.

Indeed, data from the NHS IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) programme for 2019/20 shows that people aged 65 and over had an overall recovery rate of 64 per cent, compared to 50 per cent for those aged 18 to 64.

STIFF UPPER LIP STOPS THEM SEEKING HELP

Depression and anxiety in later life are often dismissed as a ‘normal part of ageing, with older people regarded, wrongly, as beyond help’, says Alistair Burns, a professor of old age psychiatry at the University of Manchester. Another issue is that some older people may not be comfortable discussing their problems, suggests Caroline Abrahams of Age UK.

‘People who grew up in an era when there was a real stigma associated with mental illness find they cannot be open about it — an essential pre-condition to people getting help,’ she says.

Indeed, a YouGov poll of more than 2,000 British adults published in November 2018 found that nearly one in four (24 per cent) of over-65s felt uncomfortable about friends and family knowing they had depression, compared to just seven per cent for arthritis.

‘The bitter irony is that talking therapies are most effective in the over-65s,’ says Dr Amanda Thompsell, chair of the faculty of old age psychiatry at the Royal College of Psychiatrists. ‘Yet the stigma around mental health and fear of being thought less of by family and friends is deterring them from seeking help.’

Earlier this year, a government campaign aimed to persuade GPs — and their patients — that providing treatment for mental illness in older age should be a priority.

‘Anyone out there who is feeling down needs help and should get it from the NHS,’ Professor Burns wrote in a letter to every GP in January.

The message to people such as Paul is ‘seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness’, she adds. ‘We need to challenge the idea that older people should have a stiff upper lip towards mental illness.’

June Cooke, 85, a former cleaner and great grandmother of six, from London, says she had experienced severe depression and bipolar disorder most of her life — but it was only when she had a breakdown aged 76 that (with the help of her three daughters) she was referred for medication and counselling.

‘Nobody talked about mental illness when I was young,’ says June. ‘I thought of myself as ‘crackers’, or that if I talked about suicidal thoughts, my children would be taken away and I’d be put in a mental institution.’

June received treatment, including talking therapy, at the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust and says: ‘I think this is the happiest I’ve ever been.’

SYMPTOMS OFTEN MISDIAGNOSED

the Royal College of Psychiatrists estimate that 85 per cent of older people with depression receive no help at all from the NHS.

What worries experts is that, generally speaking, attitudes within healthcare have not changed since 2009, when a pioneering study published in the journal Current Gerontology revealed ageist attitudes among GPs.

In the study, 121 GPs had been asked to consider a plan of treatment for two case studies with identical symptoms of depression, one aged 39 and the other, 81.

The majority of doctors planned appropriate diagnosis and treatment only for the younger patient, taking for granted that the symptoms of the older patient were caused by physical health problems, such as increased disability and incidence of chronic pain, and were therefore inevitable.

The reason such attitudes prevail, according to the mental health charity Mind, is that many GPs still believe misery is the price of ageing.

‘We regularly hear from people who say their mental health problems are dismissed by their GPs as merely a part of getting older,’ Vicki Nash, head of policy at Mind, tells Good Health.

And, in some cases, patients’ symptoms are misdiagnosed as dementia (see right). The problem here is that symptoms including irritability, tearfulness, lack of motivation and problems with memory are common to both illnesses.

However, there are also clear differences. People with dementia lose cognitive function, failing to recognise the people around them as well as the date, time and year. Those with depression may not remember at first, but usually manage to recall this basic personal data once prompted.

Also, the severity of depressive symptoms usually varies throughout the day, while dementia symptoms stay the same, according to retired GP Dr Keith Souter.

Professor Burns, supported by Age UK, is calling on GPs ‘to think twice before offering medication as a first-line treatment option for depression and anxiety in older people — and instead refer more patients for talking therapy’.

Paul’s story highlights the need for the provision of such care — and the power it has to transform lives. Luckily for Paul and his family, his GP referred him to Age UK Manchester for talking therapy.

‘Even after my first session, it felt like a huge burden had lifted from me,’ he says. ‘The counsellor provided a safe space for me to talk about things that I had never, talked to anyone about before.’

In 14 weeks of therapy, Paul also learnt coping mechanisms to use every day.

‘It wasn’t easy at first, and I still get the occasional bout of anger, but I now feel confident that I can manage it. I just feel so positive in everything I do.’

 It’s wrong to think low moods are ‘natural’ in old age 

Commentary by Dr Max Pemberton 

When it comes to their mental health, older people are being routinely let down. Over the 16 years that I’ve practised as a psychiatrist, I’ve seen repeated examples of how poor the provisions are for this group.

Even after the recent surge of interest in mental health, with celebrities and the Royal Family raising its profile, the mental wellbeing of older people rarely gets a mention. The focus is almost always on youngsters.

Services for older people remain a Cinderella speciality — and it’s clear that ‘ageism’ underpins this lack of consideration .

Ageism is also at the root of many of the assumptions and prejudices which lead to older people with depression being dismissed or ignored.

Depression in older people is more common than dementia, yet it is significantly under- diagnosed and undertreated. In fact, the symptoms of depression are frequently mistaken for dementia.

Mental health services for older people remain a Cinderella speciality — and it's clear that 'ageism' underpins this lack of consideration (stock image)

Mental health services for older people remain a Cinderella speciality — and it's clear that 'ageism' underpins this lack of consideration (stock image)

Mental health services for older people remain a Cinderella speciality — and it’s clear that ‘ageism’ underpins this lack of consideration (stock image)

There is an assumption that the elderly are supposed to be down and a bit grumpy; their distress and despair is dismissed in a way that would never happen to any other group.

And although suicide rates generally are declining, they are still higher in older people than in the young. Yet there are scant services and resources to address mental health problems in older people.

Four in ten people over the age of 75 are suffering some signs of depression, but as few as 3.5 per cent of cases are referred for therapy. This is utterly disgraceful.

I have direct experience of this. In one service for older people’s mental health where I worked, we did not have a single psychologist: we just had to prescribe antidepressants.

The number of older people on antidepressants has doubled in the past 20 years, according to figures published last year — and this is despite older people being far more at risk of side-effects and complications from taking such medications.

Their metabolisms mean that the side-effects can be more serious, too.

Antidepressants can cause chemical imbalances in the blood and reduce its ability to clot; they can increase confusion and make patients feel dizzy or lightheaded; they can also interfere with medications that are commonly prescribed in older people for conditions such as high blood pressure.

That’s not to say that antidepressants aren’t useful and that some patients shouldn’t be taking them.

My worry, though, is that these pills are too easily dished out when psychotherapy would be a far better option. However, patients in this age group simply won’t get access to this.

Once again, the poor provision of psychotherapy is pure ageism, based on stereotypical assumptions that older people ‘won’t change’.

Yet there is good evidence that the elderly respond just as well as younger people to talking therapies.

In fact, some studies show they respond better because they are more likely than younger people to attend sessions.

Senior citizens have just as much right to therapy as anyone else, and it’s scandalous that they aren’t being offered it.

Part of the problem is that GPs are not always in tune with how older people experience depression. More than half of older people with depression have no history of it, and this ‘late-onset’ illness often has subtly different symptoms to the depression that affects younger people, which can make it tricky to spot.

Older people tend not to complain of ‘feeling sad’, but rather find they have no enjoyment in life. They can become more preoccupied with physical health symptoms and develop anxiety or obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

In more than 70 per cent of cases, there is evidence of poor memory or thinking, symptoms which mimic those of dementia — that is why we sometimes call it pseudodementia.

As a result, the patient’s true problem — depression — is all too easily missed.

It would be wrong to put all the blame on GPs. I’ve seen hospital doctors, too, overlook depression in older people. The problem is endemic.

I remember one patient I saw early on in my training, while working in geriatrics. She was sitting in a chair by her bedside, staring out of the window.

She was in her late 80s, frail and stooped. She had been on the ward for the past month after falling at home. She rarely spoke, and when people asked her questions, she stared at them, then shrugged her shoulders. Her memory was very bad and she frequently forgot what people told her.

She obviously had dementia, and it was decided on the ward round that it would be best if she went into a home.

Her husband had died four years previously and she had no family, so I phoned her GP to explain our plan.

Yet the GP was dumbfounded when I said she had dementia.

‘I only saw her a few weeks before she fell and she was as fit as a fiddle,’ he told me. ‘She had a better memory than me!’

The GP was adamant, so after I put down the phone I went over to the patient and asked her basic questions about where she was and what the date was.

She shrugged her shoulders each time.

But it niggled me that she could have been so different when her GP saw her, so I phoned the old-age psychiatrist who, after an hour of assessment, confirmed the patient actually had depression.

She was transferred to the mental health unit, began treatment and, incredibly, over the next few weeks her memory improved and she went back to her own home.

It had a profound impact on me and was a valuable lesson in not jumping to conclusions — and, in particular, how easy it is to dismiss someone simply because of their age.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Coronavirus Victoria: ZERO new cases and deaths for second day

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coronavirus victoria zero new cases and deaths for second day

Victoria has had its second-straight day of no coronavirus deaths and no new cases, hours ahead of Melbourne having its restrictions eased after 111 days.

The last virus death was on October 19 and the state toll remains at 817, with the national figure on 905.

The clean sheet comes the day after Premier Daniel Andrews announced a widespread easing of Melbourne’s restrictions, effective at midnight, marking the end of its lockdown.

Melbourne’s 14-day case average is down to 2.8 and there were six mystery cases from October 11-24.

Pubs, shops and restaurants will be allowed to open with 20 people indoors and 50 outside – and these limits will increase in two weeks’ time. 

Victoria has had its second-straight day of no coronavirus deaths and no new cases, hours ahead of Melbourne having its restrictions eased after 111 days

Victoria has had its second-straight day of no coronavirus deaths and no new cases, hours ahead of Melbourne having its restrictions eased after 111 days

Victoria has had its second-straight day of no coronavirus deaths and no new cases, hours ahead of Melbourne having its restrictions eased after 111 days

More changes are slated from midnight on November 8, including the end of the so-called 'ring of steel' separating the capital from regional Victoria, as well as the 25km travel limit

More changes are slated from midnight on November 8, including the end of the so-called 'ring of steel' separating the capital from regional Victoria, as well as the 25km travel limit

More changes are slated from midnight on November 8, including the end of the so-called ‘ring of steel’ separating the capital from regional Victoria, as well as the 25km travel limit 

Residents will be able to gather outside with up to 10 people and there will no longer be any limit on the number of households that can come together at once. 

Limits for indoor gatherings are still being finalised and will be announced on Tuesday. 

A 25km travel limit and the so-called ‘ring of steel’ preventing Melbourne residents from leaving the city will remain in place until November 8.

Mr Andrews will reveal the final piece of his latest reopening puzzle on Tuesday.

There was a notable absence from Melbourne’s long list of easing lockdown rules on Monday, with authorities still pondering home visits for family and friends.

Mr Andrews assured Melburnians they would be able to visit homes with more freedom in line with other rule changes from 11.59pm on Tuesday, but wanted to mull over the final decision overnight.

‘We do not want to do a bubble because we think that can be a particularly confusing set of arrangements for families, but we have not quite settled on it,’ he told reporters on Monday.

Monday’s long-awaited announcement was prompted by Victoria’s first clean slate of cases and deaths since June 9 and the results of a testing blitz on an outbreak in the city’s north.

The ‘proud’ premier’s voice croaked with emotion as he announced the dramatic lockdown changes, headlined by the reopening of Melbourne retail and hospitality venues.

More changes are slated from midnight on November 8, including the end of the so-called ‘ring of steel’ separating the capital from regional Victoria, as well as the 25km travel limit.

Premier Daniel Andrews announced a widespread easing of Melbourne's restrictions, effective at midnight, marking the end of its lockdown

Premier Daniel Andrews announced a widespread easing of Melbourne's restrictions, effective at midnight, marking the end of its lockdown

Premier Daniel Andrews announced a widespread easing of Melbourne’s restrictions, effective at midnight, marking the end of its lockdown 

Mr Andrews has been under intense pressure to ease restrictions while also awaiting the final report from an inquiry into the botched hotel quarantine program, widely believed to have sparked Victoria’s devastating second wave.

But Monday marked a significant shift in Victoria’s coronavirus campaign.

Melbourne retail and hospitality businesses can begin trading again from midnight on Tuesday, with a ‘dark’ reopening effective immediately so staff can prepare.

There will be a maximum of 20 people seated indoors for hospitality venues – 10 per space – and 50 outdoors.

Beauty, personal services and tattoo parlours will also reopen, and there are widespread changes from outdoor fitness to religious gatherings.

Mr Andrews said these ‘big steps’ belonged to every Victorian who had followed the rules, but warned the virus would remain in people’s lives until a vaccine is found.

Victoria free at last: What are the changes? 

From Tuesday 27 October, 11.59pm

All retail, bars and restaurants open with 20 indoors and 50 outdoors

Beauty services and tattoo parlours open

Outdoor contact sport for under 18s back on and non-contact sport for adults

Four reasons to leave home removed

25km travel limit remains in place

Melbourne to regional VIC border remains  

Outdoor gatherings up to 10 people

Gatherings can be of more than two households

Weddings increase to 10 attendees, funerals to 20

Church services open with 10 indoors and 20 outdoors 

PT, fitness and dance classes can be held outdoors with up to 10 people 

Number of people at outdoor pools can increase to 50, subject to density limits 

Must work from home if you can

From 8 November

25km travel limit scrapped 

Travel to regional VIC allowed 

Retail, pubs and restaurants allowed 40 people indoors, 70 outdoors

Funerals allowed indoors with 20 and outdoors with 50

Non-contact sport for U18s allowed indoors 

Gyms and indoor fitness will be able to reopen

Holiday accommodation to re-open

Religious gatherings will expand with up 20 people and a faith leader indoors, and 50 outside

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This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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