Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Aging and Mental Health

WE ARE MOVING THE BLOG WE WILL BE POSTING TO BOTH BLOGS ALL MONTH BEFORE WE MAKE THE FINAL MOVE. HERE IS THE NEW ADDRESS CHECK IT OUT Donald wrote a blog last week about premature aging in people with mental illness. We have talked about this subject before. It is a good topic and this one is more interesting because it deals with aging baby boomers and mental health. “The world is aging—and rapidly so. By 2030, there will be more than 72 million Americans over age 65, more than twice their numbers in 2000. With increasing longevity and declining birth rates in the world, the number of older individuals will exceed that of children for the first time in human history. These remarkable changes will have significant impact on practically every aspect of our lives.” People are living longer and this will have good news and bad news about the baby boomers and the talk in this blog.
They start off in the article giving us the bad news first. “The demographic changes are especially alarming in terms of mental illness. During the next two decades, we will witness and unprecedented rise in the number of older adults with psychiatric disorders, at a rate that is growing faster than that of the general population. The reasons reflect both negative and positive factors. On the negative side, several studies have suggested that the aging baby boomers have a higher risk of developing depression, anxiety disorders, and substance use disorders than people born before World War II. Additionally, increasing numbers of older people will mean greater prevalence of late-onset mental illnesses.” They are in for a new world if they have a mental illness later in life. Also, are the doctors and everybody ready for this new wave in mental health?
The article goes on to say we are not prepared for what is to come. “Today there are about 1,700 board-certified geriatric psychiatrists in the United States—one for every 23,000 older Americans. That ratio is estimated to diminish to one geriatric psychiatrist for every 27,000 individuals 65 and older by 2030. Yet, little is being done to address this challenge. Already geriatric psychiatric services are in high demand, and specialists are in short supply.” We are not prepared for what is coming. They are not trying to meet this challenge and when they do it may be too late for the onset in mental health they are expecting. Hopefully, none of us will decline that bad. I sure hope I do not have any surprises when I get older.
Now the article gives us the good news: “…contrary to general belief, getting older is often associated with being happier, more productive, and more functional—even in older adults with mental illness. Increasing numbers of people in their 70s, 80s, and even 90s are functioning well. In fact, research suggests that although older adults commonly experience some physical and cognitive decline, life satisfaction as well as psychosocial functioning tend to improve with aging.” That is good news! Things will get better there is just going to be a lot of people with mental illness. Hopefully they do not fall apart as much in their later years than in their younger years. “Older people are not a drain on the society; they are a major asset and resource. With their experience and wisdom, they can contribute on many levels. Aging of the population should not be viewed as crisis, but rather as a transition opening up numerous opportunities.” It should not be viewed as a crisis. Maybe new answers that can help all that suffer from a mental illness. Maybe we need to give our brain a vacation here is a link to look at about that subject. We will be moving in about a month you can find our blogs here until then. This is the link to the new site I hope you continue to follow us. WE ARE MOVING AND JUST TO LET YOU KNOW THE NEW ADDRESS IS

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