Psychologists can address the needs of a population dying later and living longer with illnesses.
As American life expectancies continue to increase, more people are living into old age and facing fears about death and the prospect of long-term illnesses associated with aging. Alzheimer's disease and other dementias are particularly frightening because their end stages can last for years, with poor quality of life for patients and stress for family caregivers, geropsychologists note. One APA group is working to shape the growing role of psychologists in treating this group and encouraging further training and interest in geropsychology.
With 75 percent of deaths in the United States now occurring in people age 65 and older--and almost 80 percent of people 65 and older reporting having heart disease, cancer and other such chronic illnesses, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation--APA's Ad Hoc Committee on End-of-Life Issues, which first met in April 2001 and will complete its final recommendations this fall, has placed a priority on establishing better mental health care for older adults. The report particularly emphasizes better care for those approaching death, says psychologist William Haley, PhD, director of the School for Aging Studies at the University of South Florida and one of the ad hoc committee members.
tratto da APA.org - prosegui la lettura dell'articolo