Mental Healthcare with Ageing
According to the World Health Organisation, having good mental health is when you can:
• Cope with the normal stresses of life;
• Work productively;
• Realise your potential; and
• Contribute to the community.
Mental Health in the Elderly
As we age, major life changes can lead to loss of work productivity and decreased contribution to family and community.
Studies have shown that there are major areas of stress that can contribute to declining mental health in the elderly population.
• Physical health struggles
• Social isolation
• Lack of access to treatment
• Changing living arrangements
• Financial stresses
• Grief and loss around independence, working life, and mobility
It is now recognised that differentiating mental disorders from ‘normal’ aging process is one of the key achievements in the field of geriatric health. Furthermore, various studies have indicated that maintaining good mental health when ageing is contingent upon three elements: avoiding disease and disability, sustaining high cognitive and physical function, and engaging with life, including maintaining relationships with family and friends. These things can act as protective factors against mental health disorders.
There are various activities that can assist with improving and maintaining good mental health for senior citizens.