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NICE issues guidance for improving the eldery’s mental wellbeing

24 October 2008

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New guidelines have been published to promote the mental wellbeing of older people in primary and residential care.

There are currently 9.7 million people aged 65 and older in the UK but this is set to rise by 2020 when one in five UK citizens will be aged 65 or older. Though many lead independent lives, mental health in later life can be affected by many factors, including physical health and financial security.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidance focuses on the role of occupational therapy and physical activity interventions in the promotion of mental wellbeing for older people.

Dr Gillian Leng, Executive Lead for the guidance, and NICE Deputy Chief Executive, said: “A decline in mental wellbeing should not be viewed as a natural and inevitable part of ageing. We all need to raise both older people’s and societal expectations for mental wellbeing in later life.”

Recommendations made by NICE include sessions that help to maintain or improve health and wellbeing; tailored exercise programmes; participation in local walking schemes and the training of care professionals in communicating effectively with older people.

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National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence

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