Aging population, Older people -- Housing
Participants: Thirty-five informants were interviewed or completed a survey for this report. They represented the Budget Note Workgroup and others identified by workgroup members. Informants represented aging services, mental health, advocacy, and other sectors such as long-term care, quality improvement, and health/medical care. Both those with a statewide focus and those with a local agency or community focus participated, including people from rural areas of the state.
The Problem: According to informants, mental health needs of older adults are not being met because:
- Systems are fragmented. The organizations that could address these needs work in silos with different funding priorities, eligibility requirements, and knowledge base.
- Mental health needs of older adults are not a priority in any agency and services that exist are often not tailored appropriately to the population.
- Knowledge gaps are pervasive about normal aging, available community resources, best practices, and mental health.
- Resources and funding are limited at best. Agencies are reluctant to fund services felt to be the responsibility of other agencies (e.g., aging services reluctant to pay for mental health services, mental health services reluctant to pay for those over 65 with a mental illness or with a dual diagnosis of dementia).
White, Diana L.; Dreyer, Linda; Reynolds, Julie; Scannell, Alice Updike; and Worthington, Serena, "Senior Mental Health Specialist Investment" (2014). Institute on Aging Publications. 46.