Assessing the mental health needs of older people
The chance to live independently and manage their own lives should be as much a possibility for older people with mental health needs as for anyone else, and professionals and families alike need to consider how to make this achievable.
'Risk taking is part of a normal life, but too often for older people the presence of an element of risk dictates care solutions, such as admission to residential care, that might not accord with the older person's own wishes. Assessing risk, particularly where there may be concerns about an individual's capacity to make informed judgements, is an essential part of assessment and care management. See also Section 3 on Mental capacity and Assessing risk.
- People with dementia, and their families, view risk differently from professionals.
- In-depth knowledge of a person's background helps professionals put the risk in context.
- It is important to establish trust between professionals, older people and their families.
Next: Continued contact