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Mental Health in Later LifeTaking a Life Course Approach$
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Alisoun Milne

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781447305729

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447305729.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 03 August 2021

The impact of age-related risks and inequalities on mental health in later life

The impact of age-related risks and inequalities on mental health in later life

Chapter:
(p.81) 4 The impact of age-related risks and inequalities on mental health in later life
Source:
Mental Health in Later Life
Author(s):

Alisoun Milne

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447305729.003.0005

In broad terms there are two sets of age-related risks to mental health. The first set are those arising directly from experiences and losses common to later life, including physical ill health and/or disability, being a carer, retirement, and bereavement. These are associated with impaired psychological wellbeing and heightened risk of depression, particularly amongst older people with few economic or social resources. The second set of risks arise from ageism and age discrimination, and their intersection with other types of discrimination such as sexism for older women. Direct and indirect discrimination is widespread; it is located in all areas of society including health and social care services. It is profoundly damaging to older peoples’ psychological wellbeing and is associated with fear, helplessness, low self-esteem, anxiety and depression. It is also linked to exclusion, marginalisation and abuse. In recent years there have been efforts to ensure that older people are overtly included in policies intended to improve the population’s physical and mental health; this includes access to treatments e.g. for depression. There has also been a focus on addressing age discrimination in specific arenas e.g. in employment and mental health services. These initiatives have had mixed success.

Keywords:   Age related losses, mental health, Ageism and age discrimination and mental health, Policy and age related health problems, Policy and age discrimination

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