Heart Health Articles

Alzheimer Scotland Welcomes Mental Health Report: Urgent Need For Action On Older People's Mental Health

October 26, 2017

A mental health pandemic and an inadequate response mean that over 315,000 older people in Scotland who experience mental health problems do not have satisfactory services and support, according to the final report from the UK Inquiry into Mental Health and Well-Being in Later Life (mhilli) - a major enquiry supported by Age Concern.

Alzheimer Scotland welcomed the report, which places dementia and depression at the centre of the unmet mental health needs of older people. With the rising number of older people, the situation is set to get worse. In its recent report, The Dementia Epidemic, Alzheimer Scotland highlighted that the number of people with dementia will rise by 75% to 102,000 by 2031.

Jim Jackson, Chief Executive of Alzheimer Scotland, said, 'We must ensure that mental health services for older people are given the priority they require; they must not be neglected because of the pressures to improve adult, children's and adolescent mental health services. Older people's mental health services need to be improved. The recommendations made by the Inquiry are as applicable to Scotland as the rest of the UK.

'In Scotland we need to build on the work which has been done in the Scottish Executive's 'Mental Health Delivery Plan' and the 'All our Futures' strategy for older people. There must be a concerted effort across departmental boundaries which reaches into all of Scotland's communities.'

The Inquiry report calls for action:

-- To eliminate age discrimination in mental health
-- To challenge stigma, ageism and defeatism
-- Work on preventing mental health problems and the promotion of well-being
-- Support for older people and their carers to help themselves and each other
-- Improvements in housing, health and social care services
-- An end to under-funding in older people's mental health services.

Further information from the Alzheimer Scotland report, The Dementia Epidemic: where Scotland is now and the challenge ahead, can be found at alzscot/pages/policy/dementiaepidemic.htm.

Alzheimer Scotland

Dementia affects between 58,000 and 65,000 people in Scotland in 2007. Alzheimer's disease is the main form of dementia. The second most common is vascular dementia. As yet there is no cure.

Alzheimer Scotland is Scotland's foremost voluntary organisation working for people with dementia and their carers. It:

-- speaks out for the rights and concerns of people with dementia and their carers;
-- operates services on over 60 sites throughout Scotland providing practical services such as day, evening and weekend centres, home care and befriending and carers' support services;
-- provides the 24 hour national freephone Dementia Helpline (0808 808 3000);
-- has a research programme.

Alzheimer Scotland - Action on Dementia is a company limited by guarantee, registered in Scotland 149069. Registered Office: 22 Drumsheugh Gardens, Edinburgh EH3 7RN. It is recognised as a charity by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, no. SC022315.