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Online Essay Club: Essay No. 5 of 10

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I'm going away for a couple of weeks so I'm posting 2 essay titles this week and then another 2 in the first week of March. Please do not think of me sunning myself on some exclusive beach on the other side of the world surrounded by the beautiful people - it will only distract you from your revision  :lol:

Q: 'Over the next twenty years the number of elderly people is predicted to increase significantly. How is this likely to affect the mental health services?'

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Essay could include;

-41% of the adult population will be over 55 in 2031 (Carnegie enquiry report).

-Prevalence rates of GAD, Dementias increase particularly. Older adults 25% of completed suicides (Our Healthier Nation targets on reduction)

Need increased service provision in-

1) Primary prevention

-improved social care, treatment of hypertension etc, positive health promotion

2) Primary care

-GP training for recognition + Tx of MH problems in elderly

-? increase primary care counsellors

-screening programmes

3)Community secondary care

-more clinics = more consultants(+other doctors) NB recruiting problems

-more OT/CPN/SW/psychologists

-more/larger Day Centres

-More EMI homes

-More need for carer support(see Health of Nation report)

4) Inpatient Care

-more beds (and therefore staff)

-more time on ECT lists

-Larger drug budgets for more prescribing of ACh ase inhibitors (see NICE guidelines)

Could be seen as opportunity if 'money follows the patient'

Could lead to pressure on already overstretched resources.

(P.S. anyone got any hints or better ideas???? :P

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1. Start with some statistics to set the scene.

2. In order to get at how the ageing population structure will effect psych. one should dwell upon th wider social impact.

3. concept of what is 'old' will shift in social and individual worldviews, i'd say about 5-7 years older. impossible to measure the ballance of such things but changes in pension/insurance rates and 'age of retirement' will point the way. Also watch the entertainment sector for signs of 'revalidation of older persons themes'.

4. Note the odd fascination of the past decade with jeuvenile forms; under-developed super waifs, 'MTV generation attention spans and the belief-in-nothing/relativism of young minds. Also the coinicdental disempowering of the elderly.

5. Answer the question. psychoses and other mental illnesses may both 'last longer' or alternatively be seen as more 'dementing' as the proportion of this phase of their effect grows. The expectations of analysts treating the older person willl also rise a few years, etc. Obvious answers, more dementia, therefore better management of dementia, potential effective therapies.

6. Explore alternative- 'Logans Run' scenario, need for older persons to be economically valid, ref. persions crisis of recent years, and socially re-empowered.

7. If this newly created class of 'wise eldsters' is given a fair degree of social power there is good reason to believe that their wider effects will ease the burden of mental illness upon the communitity and the sufferers.

Always good to end on a possitive note.

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