May is both Older Americans Month and Mental Health Month. Aging well means more than just taking care of your body, eating right, and exercising. Aging well also includes taking care of your mental health. The National Coalition on Mental Health and Aging and the National Council for Behavioral Health are sponsoring a Twitter chat on May 18th at 2pm to bring awareness to the issue of aging and mental health, including addressing substance abuse and elder abuse. We’ve gathered some resources from the NIDILRR community to add to the very comprehensive list offered by NCMHA in support of these two important observances.
- Aging with physical disabilities like multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, and cerebral palsy can mean dealing with fatigue, depression, sleep disturbances, and more. The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Healthy Aging with Long-Term Physical Disabilities has fact sheets on coping with depression, managing fatigue and low energy, and improving memory and thinking.
- Richard Holicky shares his wisdom (and information from the Northwest Spinal Cord Injury System) on aging with spinal cord injury and how it impacts mental as well as physical health in Not for Sissies! in Paraplegia News.
- As with physical disabilities, people with psychiatric disabilities are living longer and aging into other disabilities. The RRTC on Psychiatric Disability and Co-Occurring Medical Conditions has many resources for maintaining physical health including this podcast on promoting physical health for peers who are 50+, a diabetes education toolkit, and much more.
- Family members who support older adults and people with disabilities can also experience depression, mental and physical fatigue, and other mental health issues. One NIDILRR-funded study looked at interventions in both aging and family support for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to see what the two fields can learn from each other to support these families.
- Visit our diverse collection for more research and publications on aging and mental health produced by the NIDILRR community and the greater disability and rehabilitation research field.
We’ll be sharing these and other resources on May 18th as part of the #BH365 Twitter chat. See you there!