As elderly population grows, so does mental illness

Posted on October 19, 2013

The mental health of the elderly was the theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day, which falls every Oct. 10. (flickr)

Jakarta - As the country’s population of older people grows, the government is being pushed to provide better mental health facilities for the elderly, who are at higher risk of developing mental disorders.

The head of the Health Ministry’s intelligence center, Eka Viora, said that increasing life expectancy meant that the population aged 60 and over with mental disorders was also growing. “The longer a person lives, the greater his or her risk of developing a disease or condition that could trigger dementia, insomnia or depression, for instance,” Eka said during an event commemorating World Mental Health Day on Thursday.

“Loneliness is also one of the main causes of mental disorder.”

In 2020, approximately 28.8 million people in Indonesia, or 11.34 percent of the projected population, will be aged over 60, up from 24 million (9.7 percent) in 2010 and 11.3 million (7.4 percent) in 2000.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the total number of people with dementia worldwide is projected to almost double every 20 years, to 65.7 million in 2030 and 115.4 million in 2050.

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Category(s):Aging & Geriatric Issues, Mental Health in Asia

Source material from Jakarta Post