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‘Slipping through the cracks’: Mental health and recovery in older person care
journal contributionposted on 22.11.2021, 00:31 by Michelle ClearyMichelle Cleary, Jan Sayers, Marguerite Bramble, Toby Raeburn
Mental health and well-being are important across the lifespan and impacted by biological, psychological and social factors (World Health Organization, 2016). In developed countries worldwide ageing populations are the fastest growing, bringing with them increasing prevalence of chronic illness, including mental health disorders (Holroyd-Leduc et al., 2016; Moyle, Parker, & Bramble, 2014). An increasingly common approach to mental health service delivery is recovery-oriented care (Sklar, Groessl, O'Connell, Davidson, & Aarons, 2013). Developed in response to advocacy by working aged adults with a lived experience of mental illness, recovery-oriented approaches suggest that mental health recovery is a personal developmental journey towards a satisfying and meaningful life. Whilst there is no single definition of recovery, common principles include hope, self-determination, self-management, empowerment and advocacy (Slade et al., 2015). Whether or not current approaches to recovery-oriented care are entirely transferable to services that deliver care to people who experience mental ill health in older age, or whether some principles may need to be adapted, is unclear. This column provides an overview of risk factors influencing mental health well-being in older adults and advocates for the development of recovery frameworks and interventions that support people who experience mental ill health in older age.