Identify challenges posed with and aging population. Develop and action plan to address one of the CDC challenges. I choose Call to Action: Addressing Mental Distress in Older Adults. Check the CDC file I sent starting in the page 17. This paper includes Abstract, APA style for references and citations, don’t forget the header and please check the submission requirements File. Incorporate minimum 3 current sources within last five years.
The ageing process is normal, but various mental health issues accompany it. The mental distress could part of the normal ageing, but could also be caused by the lack or inadequate social and emotional support. The CDC approximates as many as 25% of the aged who experience mental health problems, such as mood disorders. Elderly individuals with psychological distress have reduced quality of life. They could lack the incentive to engage in health-promoting activities, such as consuming fruits and vegetables, physical activities, and avoiding smoking. Therefore, mental health care providers and other service providers should engage in best practice, including efforts to provide the lacking social and emotional support within the community.
CDC Call to Action Paper
The aged in our community face numerous challenges associated with limitations in their daily activities, grieving because of loss, physical impairment, caregiving challenges, and mental health issues. According to the CDC, approximately “25% of adults aged 65 years or older have some type of mental health problem, such as a mood disorder not associated with normal ageing” (CDC, 2013, 17). Although life is expected to improve with age, the elderly face numerous challenges, including mental distress associated with ageing and their conditions, such as the availability of social support, which should be addressed through a call for action to improve their wellbeing.
Challenges Associated with the Aging Population
Ageing is associated with numerous challenges, especially mental health distress and illnesses, which emanate from the normal ageing process or their living conditions. The mental health distress causes other problems that hinder self-management and inhibit recovery from age-related diseases, such as dementia. According to King, Cappeliez, Canham, and O’Rourke (2019), older adults with mental health distress suffer a high risk of becoming smokers, eating fewer healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables, and engaging in physical activity. The leading cause of the challenge is the lack of or inadequate social and emotional support for their wellbeing. Arredondo, Luong, and Fingerman (2018) suggest that older adults without social support have a high probability of developing mental health illnesses, such as mood disorders. They lack the motivation and incentive to engage in activities that could support their health.
Health care and other service providers could engage in concerted efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of the elderly and prevent mental illnesses through adequate social and emotional support. The care and service providers should encourage the elderly to engage in activities that improve their mental health, such as healthy eating, physical exercise, and avoiding smoking. They should also participate them in social networks, which prevent mental illnesses, such as mood disorders. Yang, Lee, and Kim (2017) suggest the need for the elderly to be engaged in communities that support their mental and emotional wellbeing, especially during their advanced age, when they keep losing the social capital. Therefore, an action plan is necessary to improve the mental health and wellbeing of the ageing population.
The action plan involves the creation and maintenance of social support networks within the community to ensure that the aged population has the necessary social and emotional support to prevent mental illnesses. Mental health care providers and other caregivers should address the most vulnerable persons to psychological distress to engage them in the social support program. They can use targeted questions, such as the person feels stressed, depressed, or has problems with their emotions. Health care providers can also help older adults recognize unusual increases in stress or sadness (CDC, 2013). The program should be in the form of collaborative care programs for older adults with mental health challenges. The program will be focused on reducing depressive symptoms, functional impairment, and improving their quality of life. For the best outcome, the program will target the elderly population already affected or those at the risk of mental distress.
Implementers of the community evidence-based program to provide social and emotional support should use targeted and customized interventions to become competent in addressing the specific needs of the aged population. First, the program will engage mental health experts to provide therapy and counselling to old individuals with psychological distress, such as depression or stress. Second, the program will involve education on the importance of proper diet, including adequate fruits and vegetables, to improve their mental and physical health. Thirdly, the program will include social activities and physical activities to improve their health and relieve stress. Participants will engage in sessions in which they will exercise together to create the social environment. The outcome of the program will be an improvement in their health and wellbeing, reduction in the mental distress caused by lack of social and emotional support, and growth in their quality of life. It will be particularly beneficial to the elderly who lack social support at their homes. They will take advantage of community resources, including social capital, to address the mental health challenges associated with the ageing process.
The ageing process is accompanied by numerous mental health challenges, which affect the quality of life and wellbeing of the aged population. Although the ageing should be a natural process that everyone should be prepared for, it comes with mental distress, especially among individuals without adequate social and emotional support. Therefore, the elderly require interventions that could help them to overcome the psychological distress and have improved quality of life in their advanced years. They should avoid smoking, eat well, and engage in physical activity. Therefore, a community program to provide social and emotional support could be helpful to the aged to close the gap in the care they receive at home or in nursing homes. Such programs are timely and will help aged populations in the country to have a better quality of life and reduce the cost of treating mental illnesses associated with old age.
Arredondo, C., Luong, G., & Fingerman, K. (2018). The role of age and culture in understanding social and emotional processes in daily life. Innovation in Aging, 2(Suppl 1), 1005.
CDC (2013). The state of aging and health in America, CDC
King, D. B., Cappeliez, P., Canham, S. L., & O’Rourke, N. (2019). Functions of reminiscence in later life: Predicting change in the physical and mental health of older adults over time. Aging & Mental Health, 23(2), 246-254.
Yang, J. E., Lee, T. Y., & Kim, J. K. (2017). The effect of a VR exercise program on falls and depression in the elderly with mild depression in the local community. Journal of physical therapy science, 29(12), 2157-2159.