R U OK day at Ingenia Gardens, Gympie
R U OK day at Ingenia Gardens, Gympie contributed

Bundaberg seniors unite in support of RUOK? Day

Thoughtful residents at Ingenia Gardens Bundaberg took special care to ask are you okay? today in a bid to support those with depression and feelings of sadness in and around their community.

Australia has one of the highest rates of depression amongst older people in the world, with one-in-10 Australians over the age of 55 living with depression1.

Ingenia Gardens Bundaberg resident Lynette Drews knows all too well the devasting impact depression can have.

"Four of my family members have passed away as a result of suicide - it is a horrible thing for anyone to go through - it leads you to wonder if there was anything you could have done to help them," Ms Drews said.

"Depression is an issue which affects people from all walks of life - no matter their gender, race or age - it is important for us, as seniors, to go out into the community and show our support.

"The residents here, at Ingenia Gardens, all look out for each other - we often check in on our neighbours to make sure they are ok, especially if we haven't seen them a lot lately or if they don't seem themselves.

"I would encourage everyone to take the time to have quality conversations with their neighbours, friends and loved ones and let them know you are always there if they need a helping hand or someone to talk to."

Ingenia Gardens Bundaberg Community Manager and RUOK? Day Community Champion Stephanie Dobbin said depression can hit older people hard.

"They don't want to be seen as weak or incapable, so what we want to do is encourage residents to be involved in their friends' lives and to form meaningful relationships, so they can talk about how they are really feeling," Ms Dobbin said.

Ingenia Gardens Bundaberg opened a dedicated conversation space for residents two years ago aimed at helping connect people with anxiety and depression.

"The gazebo is a place where residents can meet, chat and connect with each other about life's ups and down," Ms Dobbin said.