Elderly Mental Health Best Practices

Elderly Mental Health Best Practices

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Elderly Mental Health Best Practices


According to statistics, around 18-25 percent of elders in the United States suffer with mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, psychosomatic disorders and schizophrenia. However, only a very small percentage of these get treated for their mental illnesses and receive proper care and attention.

Suicidal rates are quite high in patients suffering with psychiatric disorders. In the U.S. itself, suicidal rate of elders stands at an alarming 21 percent, which is the highest among all age groups. Millions of elders are deprived of quality health care due to numerous factors.

However, things are gradually starting to change. Various types of mental health care programs have been initiated by different organizations with the objective of extending support to elders suffering with mental problems. Some of these best practices are been listed below.

  1. Many times, elders are reluctant to even disclose their mental problems. Programs have been initiated under which efforts are being made to locate and identify elders suffering with depression, anxiety and stress. Their problems are thoroughly understood and necessary treatment and care is provided according to their needs.
  2. Mobile health care programs include well-qualified and properly trained medical staff providing treatment to patients at their residence. Treatment is more meaningful in familiar surroundings.
  3. Effective treatment for treating depression in elderly people involves counseling and medication using anti-depressants. There are drugs available in the market suitable for elderly people.
  4. All the programs are conducted through a coordinated network of all the state and local staff members associated with mental health and aging networks.
  5. Meetings with state legislators towards providing medical assistance and support to elders towards their mental health needs.
  6. Meetings with insurance companies for providing elders with primary health insurance coverage.
  7. Advocacy about mental health problems through advertisements in the electronic and print media.
  8. Training and awareness programs for medical professionals so that they treat the patients with respect and dignity and help in providing quality medical care.

Elderly Mental Health Best Practices