Background

It is widely recognised that understanding the needs of those aged 65 and above is of utmost importance to policy-makers and care/service providers, due to the UK having an ageing population.  (ONS, 2012)

As the population of those aged 65+ increases, so does the expectation of experiencing problems with emotional well-being.  This is estimated to increase by one-third over the next 15 years (Mental Health Foundation, 2009)

Research Overview:

The project will begin with carrying out a standardised survey of mental health and wellbeing on a variety of care home residents, followed by case studies and testing a survey identifying in more detail, mental wellbeing of participants based on the findings. 

The final report will identify areas of best practice and areas of improvement in care relating to individuals’ wellbeing.

Project aims:

  • To assess mental health issues of older people in a sample of care homes in the UK
  • To examine in-depth how the mental wellbeing of older people in care homes is maintained
  • To examine in-depth how the mental health needs of older people in care homes are met
  • To create a new mental health scale for older people who live in care homes, taking into account their needs and aspirations
  • To offer recommendations for best practice with regards to assessing and maintaining mental wellbeing and improving the mental health of older people in care homes.

Potential impact:

The findings help to create an environment where the mental health needs and mental wellbeing of older people is better understood and better cared for. 

Lead contact:

Dr Charles Musselwhite, Associate Professor, Social Policy & Ageing, Centre for Innovative Ageing

College of Human and Health Sciences, Swansea University