Older adults

Older people living in the community tend to have the best mental health across the lifespan. However, those in aged care and other supported accommodation settings are at increased risk of mental health problems.

Generally, mental illness in older age tends to be more chronic in nature. However, late-onset mental health problems can also occur.

Differentiating mental disorders from 'normal' ageing is important. So are effective partnerships between psychiatry, rehabilitation and aged care.

Common risk factors for mental health for older adults are bereavement, social isolation and poor physical health.

Ways to support your mental health as you age include:

  • Looking after your physical health through good diet and exercise, medical check-ups and medication reviews
  • Getting good sleep
  • Keeping your mind active
  • Keeping connected with friends, family and your community
  • Peer support groups can help with bereavement and depression.

Talk to your GP if you are concerned about your mental health. They can develop a mental health plan with you or refer you to a psychologist or a local specialist service.

You might like to ask your local government what seniors groups are available in your area, try Red Cross Social connections or access grief, loss and bereavement services

For free counselling call beyondblue on 1300 224 636 or another helpline via mhc.wa.gov.au/helplines or join an online forum or live chat.

If you need clinical mental health care, Community Mental Health Services in every region of WA support older adults.

There are also Older Adult residential services in the community, private hospital services and publicly funded Older Adult inpatient services at Armadale, Bentley, Midland, Mt Lawley, Osborne Park, and Shenton Park (Selby).

Find local services on the My Services online directory.

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