Paula Span, in the New York Times “The New Old Age” section brings our attention to the phenomena of retirees leaving home to go to sunny Florida. A new film about a Florida retirement complex poses some difficult questions. The film is playing at the Jewish Film festival in San Francisco this week. The filmmaker, Sari Gilman, the granddaughter of a New Yorker couple of retirees, who shot the film in Kings Point, Florida, says: “The benefits of the age-segregated community seemed, in the end, to be a liability,” . As she spent time shooting at Kings Point, she learned that “there was a bit of a Darwinian bent to social life there. If you had your health, you were popular. If your health started to fail, there were whispers around the pool: ‘Ida’s going down.’ ” Read the article
‘Mental Illness’ Posts
Now, a growing number of experts are calling for integrating mental health professionals into all levels of communities for the rising population of aging Americans, from nursing homes to assisted-living centers.
Gary Kennedy, the director of geriatric psychiatry at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, says psychological care is “equally if not more important than” medical care for this group. “Health policy continues to lag behind the reality that these are now mental health facilities,” Dr. Kennedy said of communities for the elderly.
While Alzheimer’s receives the lion’s share of public attention, garden-variety depression, anxiety and sleep disorders also accompany old age. Particularly for late-life depression, Dr. Agronin points to data assembled by the psychiatry department at the supporting behavioral and group therapy, treatment rarely tried with patients from generations typically considered averse to discussing such issues.
Fortunately, the treatment prognosis for depression is good. Once diagnosed, 80 percent of clinically depressed individuals can be effectively treated by medication, psychotherapy, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) or any combination of the three. A novel treatment transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has been cleared by the FDA and may be helpful for mild depression that has not been helped by one medication trial. Medication is effective for a majority of people with depression. Four groups of antidepressant medications have been used to effectively treat depressive illness: selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and norepinephrine and serotonin reuptake inhibitors (NSRIs), and less commonly, tricyclics, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), Medication adherence is especially important, but can present challenges among forgetful individuals. It is important to note that all medicines have side effects as well as benefits., and the selection of the best treatment is often made based on tolerability of the side effects.
Mental illness affects one out of every five senior citizen Americans. Just a handful of the significant mental health problems that may occur during old age include delirium, dementia, depression, schizophrenia and psychosis. Older adults who suffer with mental health conditions often tend to have very abnormal behavioral and cognitive patterns that are many times associated with a decreased capacity for them to function properly.