This study provides the largest, most comprehensive, and most up-to-date assessment of the prevalence and psychiatric comorbidity of DSM-IV PTSD and partial PTSD in a nationally representative sample of U.S. older adults. Both PTSD and partial PTSD were associated with elevated rates of co-occurring psychopathology, particularly mood and anxiety disorders. These findings underscore the importance of comprehensively assessing both trauma exposure and Axis I and II disorders in older adults.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has major public health significance. Evidence that PTSD may be associated with premature senescence (early or accelerated aging) would have major implications for quality of life and healthcare policy.
The literature examining trauma among older adults is growing, but little is known about the efficacy of empirically supported interventions for PTSD within this population. Clinical writing on this topic often implies that cognitive-behavioral treatments may be ineffective or inappropriate for older adults with PTSD given physical and/or cognitive vulnerabilities. Review of the limited research in this area, however, provides little support for the claim that cognitive-behavioral interventions are ineffective in treating PTSD among the elderly. In an effort to explicate specific issues related to treatment process and outcome among older survivors of trauma, a case series is presented outlining the treatment of three older adults within the context of a structured, cognitive-behavioral group intervention. Observations from this case series suggests that cognitive-behavioral interventions continue to be useful in treating PTSD with this population. Specific treatment issues unique to older adults are explored and recommendations for future research are discussed.
Hospitalization in old age is a significant life event with a range of adverse outcomes. Hospitalization accelerates disability in activities of daily living and declines in function as well as cognition. Such hospitalization-related declines could lead to hospitalization, precipitate nursing home placement, and culminate in higher mortality risk. Therefore, beyond poor health, identifying the factors that contribute to older adults’ risk of hospitalization is critical to prevent these adverse consequences and the substantial cost of health care service utilization. The present study examined whether individuals’ subjective age, which refers to how old or young they feel relative to their chronological age, could be one risk factor for hospitalization.
If there were no need to communicate every day, older adults with hearing loss would have no problem. Helen Keller is credited with noting that blindness cuts us off from things, but deafness cuts us off from people. The significant impact of hearing loss on communication and interaction with others sometimes goes unrecognized by healthcare practitioners.
Many people now want or need to work longer due to increased life expectancy. In some countries statutory retirement ages deny older people free access to the labour market. It has been hypothesized that exclusion from employment may have negative effects on the mental health of older people. The global financial crisis has forced some countries to propose increasing the retirement age but the implications of this for population health are unclear. This paper reviews the evidence for the mental health impacts of working beyond retirement, and discusses the implications for future public health and welfare policy.
There are studies to support the indication that retirement and mental health are positively associated. Other studies depict the negative association of retirement and mental health. Some, have argued no association between retirement and mental health. These variations highlight the complexity of this issue, which is not surprising given the magnitude of variables associated with retirement: age, gender, social class, and relationships to name a few.
Currently, one in four Canadian seniors has a mental health issue. And there is growing evidence that the incidence of mental illness is increasing in older adults. Older people can also have problems related to substance use, particularly tobacco and alcohol. Overuse and misuse of prescription medications can pose problems as well.
Having good mental health throughout life does not ensure immunity from severe depression, Alzheimer's disease, anxiety disorders and other disorders in the senior years of life. In fact, some studies show elderly people are at greater risk of mental disorders and their complications than are younger people. However, many of these illnesses can be accurately diagnosed and treated.