“Mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression are common among older adults in rural areas, affecting 10 to 25 percent of that population. But many of those people with them suffer in silence rather than seeking treatment.”
“I still live. I still have a life. It’s just a different quality.”
“Contrary to conventional wisdom, an increase in age can lead to an increase in happiness. In fact, older adults tend to be more satisfied with their lives than their younger peers. But, for those who need it, limited supply of and access to proper geriatric psychiatric treatment leave many older adults' mental health issues underdiagnosed and thus undertreated.”
“The alcohol problems among older people are often mistaken for other conditions associated with the aging process. In this population, alcohol abuse and alcoholism may go undiagnosed and untreated or be inappropriately treated. All around us are many elders that alcohol has robbed of hope, dignity, and the ability to cope. We hope to carry the message of recovery, to seniors everywhere.”
“A Nebraska blizzard is a blinding force of nature, when densely falling snow can quickly obscure landmarks, leaving anyone caught in its swirl hopelessly disoriented. That’s why Marty was surprised to see his father get behind the wheel of his car in the midst of a February snowstorm.”
“Americans over 50 are using narcotic pain pills in surprisingly high numbers, and many are becoming addicted. While media attention has focused on younger people buying illegal opioids on the black market, dependence can also start with a legitimate prescription from a doctor: A well-meant treatment for knee surgery or chronic back troubles is often the path to a deadly outcome.”
“Every May, the Administration on Aging, part of the Administration for Community Living, leads our nation's observance of Older American's Month. The 2018 theme, Engage at Every Age, emphasizes that you are never too old (or young) to take part in activities that can enrich your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.”
“I entered a different place. It was like walking from bright sunshine into a darkened room, a room with no way out. My close family thought they were helping by arranging for me to move into a new house…when this made my blackness worse, they organized for medical tests to see if I was physically ill. I wasn’t. I was sliding down a well into a dark, dark place and I couldn’t help myself.”
“Mental and substance use disorders are major impediments to living well in old age. They cause considerable personal suffering and make it difficult for older people to achieve their potential in old age. This is a population in critical need of education, targeted prevention and early intervention.”
There are nearly 35 million people in the United States who are 65 years or older. What’s alarming is that substance abuse among those 60 years and older (including those who misuse prescription drugs) currently affects about 17 percent of this population – that’s a whopping six million people.
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