As the world’s population ages, we need to take a holistic approach to supporting the mental health of adults. With depression that affects approx 1 in 4 seniors A multi-pronged approach is needed to address this growing public health threat during the Covid-19 pandemic and at a time when its transmission varies greatly between countries.
A recent study that we coordinated, published in Milbank quarterlyIt highlights the importance of society in modeling the risk of depression among older adults in 20 developed countries, including the US. This highlights the importance of policies that improve society’s aging systems and the largely overlooked role of society in shaping the risk of depression among older adults.
To measure the adaptation of society Aging Society Index, a proven measure of how well a society is adapting to the aging of its population, which identified important indicators in five key areas: productivity, equity, coordination, safety and security. The Index provides a critical tool for understanding how societies can better support and empower their aging populations, and for identifying areas where countries can improve their policies and programs for older people. It is vital that society invests in adaptation to aging as it promotes health and well-being and reduces depression in older people.
This study has important policy implications for aging countries such as the United States. In the USBy 2040, 1 in 5 are expected to be over 65, up from 8 in 1 in 65 in 2000. World Health Organization Assumptions In the year By 2030, there will be 1.4 billion people in the world 60 and over, and by 2050, the figure will reach 2.1 billion.
As the world’s population ages, it is critical that countries prioritize the adoption of policies and programs that support and empower the elderly. One of these policies is a Multi-level retirement income systemThis has been seen significantly Reduce poverty Among adults and improve their economic security. World Health Organization Age-appropriate cities It is another initiative to improve the mental health of the elderly by making cities livable and accessible. Department of labor Senior Community Service Employment Program It provides job training and job opportunities to seniors, helping to improve their sense of purpose and overall well-being.
Evidence-based health programs such as the AARP Foundation Experience Corps and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Chronic disease self-management program, can help older adults improve their mental health through purposeful and social engagement, as well as better management and treatment of chronic diseases. Finally, caregiver support programs can provide family members with resources and support that reduce their burden and improve their well-being. By prioritizing evidence-based policies and programs like these, countries can take significant steps to improve the mental health of their aging populations.
Investing in community adaptation to aging is a promising approach to supporting and empowering older adults, and evidence shows that these policies and programs have a positive impact on their mental health. While much remains to be learned about the causal links between depression and aging, taking action to prioritize the mental health of our older adults is critical to enhancing their well-being and happiness.
Enacting new policies and programs to support aging requires significant political action and cooperation from all stakeholders, but reforms can be well worth the effort and provide a cost-effective strategy to broadly improve the mental health of older adults.
We need to act to support the mental health of our aging population, and this research shows that investing in community adaptation to aging is an important step in that direction.
Esteban Calvo is Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the Robert Butler Columbia Center on Aging and Dean of Social Sciences and Arts. Mayor of the Universidad, Chile. John W. Rowe is the Julius B. Richmond Professor of Health Policy at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Robin A. Richardson is an assistant professor of epidemiology at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. The views expressed here are those of the authors.
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