Older Adult Mental Health Online Workshop
Time & Location
About the Event
The US Census estimates that each day 10,000 Americans of the baby boomer cohort are turning either 65 or older. By 2030 20% of the US population will be 65 or older. Is our healthcare system prepared to handle this major shift in our society?
Although Americans are living longer, most older adults need specialized care. Research shows that most baby boomers suffer from chronic conditions such as hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes. The Health Service Research Journal (HSR)states, a major public policy concern in the long-term care field is the potential burden an aging society will place on the care-giving system and public finances. The “2030 problem” involves the challenge of assuring that sufficient resources and an effective service system are available in thirty years, when the elderly population is twice what it is today. Much of this growth will be prompted by the aging of the Baby Boomers, who in 2030 will be aged 66 to 84—the “young old”—and will number 61 million people. In addition to the Baby Boomers, those born prior to 1946—the “oldest old”—will number 9 million people in 2030.”
As our society prepares for the financial impact of an ageing population, we must highlight the effect an older adult population will have on the mental health care field. In a report titled, Boom in Aging Adults Could Overwhelm Mental Health Care Field by Northwestern Family Institute, Paul Gionfriddo, President and CEO of Mental Health America (MHA) stated, that the harm of untreated situational depression cannot be downplayed for older Americans.
“My suspicion is, in future generations, we’ll continue to see more people who are diagnosed with depression at later ages who’ve never been diagnosed before simply because the environments in their lives have changed,” Gionfriddo says.
A 2015 Gallup poll found that 21 percent of baby boomers were diagnosed with depression during their lifetimes, a higher rate than all other adult age brackets. Gionfriddo says that a perfect storm of circumstances leaves the baby boomer generation susceptible to mental health concerns.
As we prepare for a major shift in our society, we can be proactive. Addiction-Prevention, LLC and Kaii Marie are conducting several trainings to further educate hospital staff, primary care providers, aging services and social service agencies, senior center staff and volunteers, nursing, rehabilitation and assisted living facilities, healthcare providers and home care workers, mental health workforce, faith communities, law enforcement, and other first responders, families, and anyone interested in geriatric mental health issues on how to effectively prepare for an address the mental health care needs of a growing older adult population.