Over 65 years old

CPFT Psychological Wellbeing Service has no upper age limit and welcomes self-referrals from people aged 65 and over. Emotional difficulties don’t stop as we get older, although the difficulties we face that may contribute to us feeling worried or depressed can be different to when we were younger. For example, we may experience:

  • 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 depressed 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’.  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.

Those with more complex mental health problems or a history with secondary care mental health services would be advised to visit their GP before self referring as there may be more suitable alternative treatment options that should be considered.

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 at present, 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 the service such as:

  • Team bases that are centrally located across the county, including in: Huntingdon, March, Wisbech, Peterborough and Cambridge.
  • We have rooms in many GP surgeries and other community locations, which may mean we can offer you appointments closer to your home.
  • As well as face to face treatments we offer certain treatment options by telephone or online, which can be helpful for those experiencing difficulty getting out of their home or caring for a relative.
  • We can help with arranging taxis or hospital transportation.

What happens next?

After you click the self referral button, you will be taken to another webpage. 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.

Once these forms are complete, 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.



The page was last updated on 08 September 2020 by jclarke.


Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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