Older Adults (+65)

NHS Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Talking Therapies has no upper age limit and welcomes self-referrals from people aged 65 and over. Emotional difficulties don't stop as we get older. The difficulties we face may change but can still contribute to you not feeling yourself in some way. Perhaps you feel as though some enjoyment in life is missing or you are struggling with increased worries.

Older woman and man smiling together

Some experiences we may face later in life are outlined below:

  • Loneliness – A lack of connection to other people can occur, perhaps due to children moving away or experiencing a bereavement, particularly of those we are close to. This means social interactions can become much reduced.
  • Adjustment to retirement – The lack of daily structure, activities and sense of purpose achieved through work can be difficult to deal with.
  • Becoming a carer – Sometimes difficulties can occur if it becomes necessary to become a carer for our partner or other members of our family.
  • Physical health issues – Changes in our health and increased illnesses associated with older age can lead to an inability to function as we were previously able to. This can be difficult to accept.
  • Mobility issues – A reduction in our mobility as we age can impact negatively upon our freedom to live our lives the way we used to, even to the extent that it is difficult to get out of the house.

There are many negative attitudes towards ageing and some people have the idea that worrying and feeling sad or down are just normal parts of ageing, but there is no evidence to support such ideas. In fact, research shows us that happiness levels tend to drop in middle adulthood but start to rebound by late 50s and into 60s perhaps because people have gained the wisdom and acceptance about their life and are satisfied with the goals they have attained.

Barriers to Accessing Help

There are a number of reasons why people aged 65 years and over find it difficult to access services.  Some people believe that psychological therapies are not going to be relevant or helpful in addressing their problems.  In addition, some people may lack confidence to access the support they need or may worry that they will be seen as not important enough, e.g. ‘I don’t want to be any bother’.  Some may never had accessed this type of support before and wonder what the experience will be like.

Other issues such as changes in mobility and sensory problems can present additional challenges for people to access support.  However, the fact that you have landed on this webpage is a great start as there is help available.  The next part is clicking the self referral button. 

Is there anything else I need to know?

People need to be motivated and willing to change in order to benefit from psychological therapy. There will be an expectation that in between your sessions you will be able to continue to work on improving your mental health with the techniques we provide you.

We would also recommend that people with health problems such as dementia or cognitive problems, such as memory issues, have a discussion with their GP before self-referring. We may still be able to see you, but it may also be the case that more specialist help is available to you.

Where will I be seen?

Unfortunately the service is unable to offer home visits but we can help you access an alternative source of help with our partner agencies if home visits are required. There are also a number of options that may help in terms of accessing our service such as:

  • Team bases that are centrally located across the county, including in: Huntingdon, March, Wisbech, Peterborough and Cambridge.
  • We have rooms in some community locations, which may mean we can offer you appointments closer to your home.
  • We offer a range of options to access our service including video calls, telephone calls as well as face to face appointments and some purely online options. This range aims to help improve access for those who potentially struggle to get out their homes, possibility have to care for a relative at home or maybe have difficulties accessing public transport.

What happens next?

Click HERE to Self-Refer

After you click the above self-referral button, a pop up form will open. This will ask you some questions to determine if you are suitable for our service or whether there is another service that would be more suited to your needs. Once you have gone through the screening questions, you will be taken to our self-referral form. You will need to enter some basic personal details and tell us more about your difficulties. If you are having any problems with this, you can call our self-referral number below who will be able to help you. There are also some questionnaires to complete which may help to give us a better understanding of your particular difficulties.

Alternatively you can call this number to make an initial referral :
T: 0300 300 0055
Phone lines are operational:
9am-4pm, Monday to Friday (closed Bank Holidays)

Our self-referral form is also available in hard-copy and can be returned to us through the post or via e-mail. This can be requested using the phone number above or can be downloaded by clicking HERE.

Once you have completed one of the referral options above, the following may happen:

  • Our self-referral team may call you back over the following week if they need further information, although the time frame can vary at times of peak demand for the service. If the Service is not thought to be best to meet your needs our self-referral team may send you some signposting information or refer you back to your GP.
  • We may arrange an assessment appointment, which is usually over the phone in order to work out what treatment option would best suit your needs as there are a range of options available. Sometimes you will be signposted to other more appropriate services following this assessment.

Older man reading to two young children



As a patient

As a patient, relative or carer using our services, sometimes you may need to turn to someone for help, advice, and support. 

Patient Advice and Liaison service  Contact the Trust