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Developing the right skills to meet the mental health needs of older adults


Anderson, J and West, S and Lees, D and Cleary, M, Developing the right skills to meet the mental health needs of older adults, Issues in Mental Health Nursing pp. 1-3. ISSN 0161-2840 (2022) [Non Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1080/01612840.2022.2087012


Mental health disorders amongst older populations have long been an under-recognised issue in the aged care sector. Older adults and those with mental health issues are at increased risk of poorer health outcomes globally with the World Health Organization identifying that 15% of adults aged 60 and over live with a mental disorder. Meanwhile mental and neurological disorders account for 6.6% of the total disability among this age group. Mental health and wellbeing is as important to older people as to people at any other stage of life. The World Health Organization (2017) has noted that dementia, depression, and anxiety disorders all provide overlap between aged care and mental health. Loss of capacity and functional ability, bereavement, reduced socioeconomic circumstances, social isolation, changes to living arrangements and chronic physical health conditions can all negatively impact on the mental health of older people. Yet, health professionals and older people themselves often do not identify or address mental health problems. While nurses have always been vital to the provision of quality mental health and aged care, nursing must also be considered central to the limitations that have arisen over time within these sectors. In this column, we examine the constraints on both aged care nursing and mental health nursing, informed by the Australian experience, and the need to integrate these two often disparate arms of nursing care to effectively plan for the mental health needs of older people.

Item Details

Item Type:Non Refereed Article
Keywords:mental health nursing
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Aged health care
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Health related to ageing
UTAS Author:Lees, D (Dr David Lees)
ID Code:150622
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Nursing
Deposited On:2022-06-23
Last Modified:2022-06-23

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