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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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(p.237) Conclusion
Mental Health in Later Life

Alisoun Milne

Policy Press

In the conclusion, ways forward, located in five cross cutting domains, are proposed. Firstly, if many of the factors that place an older person at risk of impaired mental health are lifecourse and age-related inequalities it is axiomatic that policy should address these. Secondly, as the link between inequalities and health is accepted in the public health field, adopting a public mental health approach may hold considerable potential. There is also scope to refocus policy, services and practice in the dementia arena, including public and policy acknowledgment that some dementia risks are located in the lifecourse. Thirdly, when services are offered within the context of an older person’s lifecourse and life narrative it is possible to adopt a truly person-centred approach that upholds dignity and promotes quality of life. Refocusing research lenses is a fourth issue. This includes developing a concept of ‘late lifeadversity’, engaging to a greater degree with older people’s perspectives and effectively capturing links between lifecourse factors and mental health outcomes. Fifthly, there is a need to make visible the neo-liberal values that underpin policy. Mental health in later life is a political issue as well as a research, policy, service and health related concern.

Keywords:   Refocussing thinking and research, Paradigmatic shift, Public mental health, Addressing lifecourse inequalities, Addressing age related inequalities, Late life adversity, Accommodating older person’s lifecourse, Accommodating older person’s perspective, Neo-liberal values

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