Older Adults and Mental Health - Preparing to Care For Those Who Cared For Us

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Older Adults and Mental Health - Preparing to Care For Those Who Cared For Us

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Depression and anxiety are often thought of as part of the normal aging process by many, including healthcare providers, who attribute symptoms as a natural reaction to life changes or illnesses that occur with aging.' Even though depression and anxiety are often treatable through psychological and/or pharmacological interventions, mental health needs remain widely under-recognized and under-treated amongst older adults." As Minnesota prepares for 2030, and the demographic shift as a result of the Baby Boomer Generation, a focus on the mental health needs of older adults is needed. Research shows that while the prevalence of mental health diagnoses is not higher in older adults than other age groups, there are unique needs that contribute to older adults' use and access to mental health services. By addressing these needs, and increasing access to services, the Minnesota Board on Aging can lessen the impact on individuals and health care costs. For purposes of this policy brief, older adults are defined as individuals age 65+, and mental health needs exclude Alzheimer's or dementia-related diagnoses, serious and persistent mental health diagnoses, and substance use disorder.


Capstone paper for the fulfillment of the Master of Public Affairs degree.

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Dotson, Alyssa; Berns, Sarah; Jensen-Stahl, Amanda; Moberg, Jen. (2018). Older Adults and Mental Health - Preparing to Care For Those Who Cared For Us. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/208500.

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