Each generation has an identifying label that gives them a classification in time. Those born between 1922 – 1943 (ages 92-72) are considered the “Silent Generation. These are individual who have experienced the great depression, WWII, believe in conformity, a defined sense of right and wrong, and whose perspective of depression and mental health is often associated with embarrassment and avoidance. While this generation has longevity from an age perspective, it is in fact the age factor and time period of their birth that has shaped the way they look at the issue of mental health.
Now those born between 1946-1964 (ages 68-50) are considered the “Baby Boomers” and they are the generation of change. They believe in individual choice and self-actualization and were a part of the civil rights movement. They experience complicated legal issues related to aging relatives, have a high divorce rate and in regards to depression and anxiety, are referred to as the first real “sandwich generation.” Their biggest challenge in the area of mental health has been the issue of prescription drug use/abuse.
With different perspectives on an issue, that many can agree is a problem, mental health, regardless of age, how do we make sure that people get the help that is needed? Sometimes, getting an older adult to access mental health services can be challenging based upon their values and perceptions of mental health services.
How do we get our older adults paired up with Mental Health Services?
Family caregivers and loved ones are the number one vehicle for pairing older adults with mental health services. This connection can help bridge the gap, PAIRing (Proper, Approach, In, Receiving, Services). In fact, 67% of family members provide care for someone ages 75 or older. And family members are necessary trusted partners for older adults receiving available mental health services.
Mental health service options for older adults and family members include:
• Individual Phychotherapy:
• Family and Therapy Couples Counseling:
• Medical Doctors-
• Support Groups/Group Therapy-
• Inpatient Hospitalization-
Mental Health Providers Resources:
The Link Counseling Center – Enriched Living: A Program for the Aging, Their Families & Caregivers-www.thelink.org
Mental Health Provider Locators:
– www.aamft.org – American Association of Marriage and Family therapy
– http://www.apa.org/topics/aging/index.aspx – American Psychology Association
– http://fuquacenter.org/Services – Fuqua Center for Late Life Depression; The Fuqua Center is an initiative of Emory University, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
– http://www.gmhfonline.org/gmhf/about.html – Geriatric Mental Health Foundation
Lists of Local Support Groups:
– www.alz.org – Alzheimer’s Association
– https://caregiver.org/family-care-navigator – Family Caregiver Alliance
– Wesley Woods Geriatric Hospital – Emory
– St. Mary Hospital & Health Care System
– Peachford Hospital
– Summit Ridge Hospital
– Ridgeview Institute
– Anchor Hospital