All over the world, populations are changing. People are living longer, and older people are forming a larger part of the global population. Baby boomers are retiring and improved health care has extended life expectancy. Meanwhile, as young people move to cities or abroad, more older adults live alone or without social support. Without a doubt, this ageing population will have far-reaching impacts on the world.
Every generation faces new obstacles to health and well-being as they age. Friends and family members die, physical fitness declines, and neurocognitive disorders like dementia increase. But ageing is not necessarily a time of decline. Studies show that older adults enjoy greater life satisfaction and happiness than younger adults. Perhaps retirees have more time for hobbies and socialising without the burden of childcare. At the same time, factors like social support, culture, and personal values have a important influence on well-being in older age.
So what challenges in mental health do older people face? And how can we make sure that older people continue to have healthy and happy lives?
Featured image credit: sympaty by Mario Mancuso. CC BY 2.0 via Flickr.