Mental Health Overview

Mental Health Overview

Later life presents seniors with a number of challenges. Such challenges include adapting to changes in physical, functional, recreational, and social status as well as transitions to new roles. In addition, may seniors have the challenge of giving or receiving care. They must also confront the realities of physical limitations and death. Despite these challenges, most seniors have the personal and social resources to understand and deal with them.

Many seniors also develop wisdom, or expertise in the pragmatics of life, which research demonstrates is more prevalent among older adults than younger adults (Baltes, Smith & Taudinger, 1992). Wisdom comes through experience and provides many older adults with tools for coping with challenges in later life.

Despite late-life problems, many older adults report feeling more self-confident, better adjusted, and more accepting than when they were younger. Further, the experience and expression of both positive and negative emotions tends to be less intense for older adults, which may account for their improved emotional control in later life (Fillip, 1996). In short, the vast majority of older adults function very well in their later years.

At the same time, some older adults develop mental disorders. This section will review the major mental health problems that older adults may face, and what can be done to address these problems.

The above information was provided by the Society of Certified Senior Advisors (SCSA)