Epidemiology and the Scale of the Problem
Population ageing is taking place in nearly all parts of the world. Ageing results from decreasing mortality and declining fertility. Older adults are increasingly playing important roles in society through volunteer work, caring for their families and paid workforce. However, not all older adults enjoy good health. The burden of non-communicable diseases is increasing, and this has now become a major public health issue. Many older adults are living with ill health including poor mental health. Factors that influence older adults’ mental and emotional wellbeing include individual characteristics or attributes, socioeconomic circumstances and the broader environment in which they live. With the increasing population of older adults, it is vital that services plan adequately to provide healthcare and wellbeing care to meet the growing demand. This is especially relevant to primary healthcare providers where older adults often seek help in the first instance. Loneliness and social exclusion are important risk factors for poor mental health among older adults. Efforts to improve mental wellbeing of older adults should include tackling loneliness. Collaborative care, bringing together health and social services, is a good way of managing mental health problems in older adults.
KeywordsAgeing Prevalence Isolation Loneliness Dementia
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