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5 Reasons It Is Vital to Improve Behavioral Health for Older Adults

A new study, released just in time for Healthy Aging Month (September), shows aging leads to better mental health. Researchers gave phone and in-home surveys to a little more than 1,500 San Diego adults between the ages of 21 and 100. The results showed a steady improvement in mental health as people aged. While that may be true for some people, it is important to remember that it may not be true for everyone.

 

Here are five reasons it is vital to improve behavioral health for older adults:

1.       By 2030, older adults will account for roughly 20 percent of the U.S. population.1
2.       About 25 percent of adults aged 65 years or older have some type of mental health problem, such as a mood disorder not associated with normal aging.2
3.       Adults 65 and older made up 16 percent of all suicide deaths in 2004.3
4.       About 2.5 million older adults abuse alcohol or drugs.4
5.       Older adults are hospitalized as often for alcohol related problems as they are for heart attacks.4

HealthInsight is working with primary care practices and inpatient psychiatric facilities to improve behavioral health for older adults.

Be sure to join us for our webinar series in September: A Guide to Behavioral Health Screenings

 

Sources:

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The State of Aging and Health in America 2013. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Dept. of Health and Human Services; 2013.

2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Association of Chronic Disease Directors. The State of Mental Health and Aging in America Issue Brief 1: What Do the Data Tell Us? Atlanta, GA: National Association of    Chronic Disease Directors; 2008.

3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Association of Chronic Disease Directors. The State of Mental Health and Aging in America Issue Brief 2: Addressing Depression in Older Adults: Selected Evidence-Based Programs. Atlanta, GA: National Association of Chronic Disease Directors; 2009.

4 National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence


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