The population of Canada is going through a dramatic shift where one in four Canadians will be over the age of 65, by 2036; projections note that the aging population is at a high risk for experiencing mental health issues. Nova Scotia’s population is leading the aging population trend with more than 20% of its residents aged 65 and older2. As such if the mental health and well-being of the aging population in Nova Scotia is left unaddressed, the social, economic and political impact on the province will be far-reaching. Positive aging literature clearly demonstrates the benefits inherent in the provision of psychosocial – resilience community-based supports and services to prevent mental ill-health, promote wellness and enhance the quality of life in an aging population. i, ii, iii.
1 The Chief Public Health Officer’s Report on the State of Public Health in Canada, 2014: Public Health in the Future; http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/cphorsphc-respcacsp/2014/assets/pdf/2014-eng.pdf
2 MacCourt P., Wilson K., & Tourigny-Rivard M-F. (2011). Guidelines for Comprehensive Mental Health Services for Older Adults in Canada. Calgary, AB: Mental Health Commission of Canada. Retrieved from: http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca
i World Health Organization. Global Age-friendly cities: A guide. Geneva (Switzerland): World Health Organization. 2007. Available at http://www.who.int/ageing/publications/Global_age_friendly_cities_Guide_English.pdf?ua=1
i Ichida Y, Hirai H, Kondo K, et al. Does social participation improve self-rated health in the older population? A quasiexperimental intervention study. Soc Sci Med. 2013; 94 :83-90.
ii Chapin RK, Sergeant J, Landry S et al. Reclaiming Joy: Pilot evaluation of a mental health peer support program for older adults who receive Medicaid. Gerontologist. 2013; 53 (2): 345-52.
Moving to Long-term Care – Alzheimer’s Society of Canada
Be Prepared for an Emergency Room Visit – Alzheimer’s Society of Canada