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The epidemiology and presentation of mental illness in older people is different to younger adults, and older people with mental illness often have a unique and complex set of physical, psychological and social factors complicating their care. For these reasons older people need dedicated inpatient and community mental health teams to look after them.

There is a global history of ageism in the funding and delivery of mental health services for older people. The UK has led the way in developing age-specific services which research has shown improve care in this group. These services are now under threat in the UK by the move to "ageless services". Commissioners and trusts have various reasons to consider this including a misguided belief it may save money or misinterpretation of the Equalities Acts around the UK.

The College is clear that older people need dedicated age-specific mental health services. We have assembled a compendium of evidence to support this below.

If your services are under threat, please look at and use this evidence. Many people have already found it helpful to rebut the move to ageless services.

Please give us any feedback as to whether these resources help or not in your fight to preserve your services.

Dementia

  • The Young Onset Dementia Pathway gives recommendations for commissioners and practitioners to create the ideal care pathway. It was developed by people affected by young onset dementia and the people who work with and support them
  • National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health Dementia Care Pathway full implementation guidance.

Other topics

Delirium Awareness Video #ICanPreventDelirium

As part of the #ICanPreventDelirium campaign, faculty members Dr Krishnan and Dr Bennett, in collaboration with Teesside local councils and CCG produced this video with the aim of improving recognition and management of delirium in any healthcare setting.

Depression in older people

This video explores the symptoms of depression in older people and what help you can get if you are feeling depressed. It also shows how to cope if you are a friend or family member of an older person suffering from depression.

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