As the US population grows older, the demand for affordable and accessible mental health services is on the rise. Psychological services for seniors, particularly those in underserved communities (15.1 percent of Americans over the age of 65 currently fall below the poverty line according to the US Census Bureau, the largest portion of any age group) have become more critical than ever, especially in an uncertain economic climate. Recent figures show an estimated 20.4 percent of adults 65 and over living with a diagnosed mental disorder, including dementia. Over half have some form of cognitive impairment, often worsened by other chronic health problems. According to the American Psychological Association, recent efforts have focused on providing mental health and substance abuse services for increasingly diverse populations of seniors, and the need for these efforts will continue to increase substantially throughout coming decades.
Experts and advocacy groups warn mental health issues are under-diagnosed for older people, and those suffering anxiety and depression often do not know where to find help.
Among older adults with subthreshold depression (insufficient levels of depressive symptoms to meet diagnostic criteria), collaborative care compared with usual care resulted in an improvement in depressive symptoms after four months, although it is of uncertain clinical importance, according to a study.
Old age is often characterised by poor health due to isolation, morbidities and disabilities in carrying out activities of daily living leading to depression. A new study offers a comprehensive analysis of depression among the old in South Africa.
Research suggests that a combination of nutrition and mental, social and physical activities may have a greater impact with regard to maintaining and improving brain health than any single activity. Volunteering, caring for others and pursuing hobbies may benefit the brains of older adults.
Dr. Varghese said positive perception of self increased one’s longevity. Life satisfaction, social support system, good physical and mental health, financial security and personal control over one’s life were essential for successful aging.
According to a recent study by American Geriatric Society, tests were done with 830 middle-aged women, concluding if one has their children later in life, their brainpower will be boosted while protecting one from memory loss.
While it is well-known that a severe natural disaster can increase the risk for certain mental disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a new study finds that this type of trauma can also increase the risk of dementia in the elderly.
By Anna Gorman, Kaiser Health News LOS ANGELES — Rini Kramer-Carter has tried everything to pull herself out of her dark emotional hole: individual therapy, support groups, tai chi and numerous antidepressants. The 73-year-old musician rattles off the list: Prozac, Cymbalta, Lexapro. “I’ve been on a bunch,” she said. “I still cry all the time.” Read more
Doll therapy is catching on at nursing homes and other senior facilities across the country. It’s used to help ease anxiety among residents with dementia, who can experience personality changes, agitation and aggression. But the therapy is controversial.
About 3.8 million people in Texas are age 60 and over, a number that’s expected to more than triple to 12 million by 2050. It’s regarded as one of the state’s fastest growing populations.
Texas nursing homes lead the nation in the prescribing of antipsychotic medications to seniors. That has watchdog organizations concerned that people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are being prescribed such drugs, which can be heavily sedating, for reasons of convenience rather than necessity.
Experts expect this type of elderly exploitation to increase as Baby Boomers age and the vulnerable senior population surges, a prospect that’s forcing Harris County officials to better understand and address cases of exploitation, abuse and neglect.
Alzheimer’s not only alters the lives of people with the disease but also the lives of those who care for them. The journey can be just as emotionally and physically demanding for caregivers, but that mental and physical stress is often overlooked because the focus is on the patient.
A controversial study has suggested that the neurodegenerative disease might be transferred from one person to another. Now scientists are racing to find out whether that is true.
New research suggests that there may be some truth to the old adage, “You’re only as old as you feel.” Researchers report that people who feel older than their actual age are more likely to be hospitalized.
Taking one of a class of anti-anxiety pills that includes Ativan, Valium or Xanax does not increase older adults’ risk of dementia, a new study finds.
Recording staff in nursing homes and special education classrooms may dodge the roots of the problem.
After the last of the baby boomers become fully eligible for Medicare, the federal health program can expect significantly higher costs in 2030 both because of the high number of beneficiaries and because many are expected to be significantly less healthy than previous generations.
Caring for older relatives is usually a task associated with Baby Boomers. But almost a quarter of the adults who take care of older people are between the ages of 18 and 34, according to research by the AARP Policy Institute and the National Alliance for Caregiving.