MHA will refer to “positive aging” and “aging well” rather than “recovery” in the remainder of this position statement.MHA urges that the budget discussions of all levels of government recognize the emerging needs of older people with mental health and substance use conditions, including cognitive health as a part of mental health.The AGS Updated Beers Criteria is not always applicable for older adults receiving hospice or palliative care.
Some confusion can be alleviated, some quality of living restored, by applying the lessons of “positive aging.” And people with all forms of dementia can benefit from psychosocial interventions, which Appendix A to this position statement examines in detail and contrasts with the relative lack of success in developing drugs to address dementia and related conditions.
With better research and treatment, people can realistically hope to maintain better cognitive and emotional health in later life.
Some people age more successfully than others, and many find new and deeper satisfaction in later life.
But aging also brings with it the threat of serious mental health conditions, including dementia as well as depression, anxiety and sometimes psychosis, which will require greater attention as our society ages.
Mental Health America (MHA) advocates studying and funding medical and psychosocial interventions to help sustain our mental health and quality of life as we age, and acting to maintain and recover wellness.
In coping with the mental health conditions associated with aging, as with any other serious mental health condition, “recovery” should be the goal.
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 63(11), 2227-2246. Best practice information on care of older adults and best practices to guide non-pharmacologic intervention:
Prevalence of adverse drug events in ambulatory care: A systematic review.
The AGS Updated Beers Criteria do not substitute for professional judgment or the need to tailor care to each patient's individual needs, goals, and unique situation.