Mental Health and Well-Being in Later Life

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May 1, 2009


Hardback, 184 pages

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0335228917 / 9780335228911


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Main description

“This book’s main contribution … is to say to us all there is no single solution, no magic bullet, no instant cure, for the discomforts and illnesses of older age, and that not all ageing is comfortable. But it also tells us that it is in our control to do something about much of this, that older people’s mental well-being could be vastly improved, and that public policy, and private attitudes, need to change. I hope that it is as influential as it deserves to be.”
Taken from the foreword by Baroness Julia Neuberger, Former Chief Executive of the King's Fund and author of ‘Not Dead Yet’

Mental health issues amongst older adults are becoming ever more prevalent. This fascinating book looks broadly at the mental health and well being issues that affect adults in later life. Taking a holistic approach to mental health and mental health promotion, the book explores the debates around what is meant by mental health and mental illness and the wider social determinants of mental health.

All chapters have a common thread running through them – each of which was identified as being a key theme for mental health and well-being by adults in later life. Among them are issues relating to:

  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Societal diversity
  • Poverty
  • Class
  • Cultural differences
A range of examples from the UK and other countries, along with insights gained from older people’s own perspectives, are used to emphasise the evidence base for effective interventions to promote mental health. Case studies, vignettes and quotes demonstrate how social theory and principles of health promotion can be effectively applied to improve practice.

Mental Health and Well Being in Later Life is key reading for those working or intending to work in public health, health promotion and health and social care professions, especially those who work with older people.

Table of contents

List of figures, tables and boxes

List of contributors




List of abbreviations

1 Introduction

2 What is mental health and mental well-being?

3 Theoretical perspectives on ageing and health promotion

4 Policy and practice in the promotion of mental health and well-being in later life

5 Work, retirement and money

6 Relationships

7 Keeping active

8 Coping, Choice and Control: Pathways to Positive Psychological Functioning and Independence in Later Life

Concluding comments and the future of mental health promotion in later life




Author comments

Mima Cattan is Reader in Health Promotion, Healthy Ageing and Co-Director of the Centre for Health Promotion Research, Leeds Metropolitan University, UK. Her PhD focused on health promotion and social isolation and loneliness among older people. She is co-editor with Sylvia Tilford of Mental Health Promotion: A Lifespan Approach (Open University Press, 2006).

Copyright 2014 McGraw-Hill Global Education Holdings, LLC


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