Mental health and emotional well-being during old age (60\) should be regarded as important as at any other time of a persons’ life. Older people are more likely to experience events that affect emotional well-being, such as bereavement or disability. Unfortunately, mental health problems are under identified in older people, whom themselves are also less likely to seek help as compared to other people in the population. It is estimated that over the next 30 years, the proportion of elderly people (aged 60 or above) is estimated to increase from 12% to 22%. This would mean that there is expected to be 2 billion people of 60\ by 2050 in absolute terms. Older people are confronted with a variety of physical and mental health challenges and unfortunately these are not always, if indeed at all, thoroughly addressed. If we only focus on the mental health issues, then more than 20% of adults aged 60\ suffer from a mental disorder and 6.6% of all disabilities that occur is attributed to those same disorders. The disability caused by mental disorders account for 17.4% of a persons' living years. The assessment of our elderly population, with respect to mental health, therefore requires an understanding of the full spectrum of the mental health continuum, and not to categorise everything into a ‘neurological disease’ or ‘dementia’ category. In particular, we would need to dissect the complex interaction between specific medical conditions, mental stress as part of the ageing process and social circumstances. To be able to offer effective support to tacking this issue, our project aims to carry out three important objectives: a) to implement novel scientific and technological innovations, including strengthening of information systems, b) to initiate care strategies for the short-term, including lifestyle interventions and promotions, to improving the quality of life of older people and c) to build a sustainable long-term infrastructure for elderly care.
Project partnersTechnicka Univerzita Vo Zvolene
University Of Newcastle Upon Tyne
University Of Northumbria At Newcastle
Academisch Ziekenhuis Leiden