Flemish Elderly Council launches 22 proposals for stronger psychological assistance – Health

Psychological care is insufficiently known among the elderly. And mental health workers still know too little how to deal with the psychological needs of the elderly. These are some striking conclusions of the Flemish Elderly Council after their campaign Kopzorgen Verdienen Zorg.

1 in 5 elderly people between 65 and 74 struggle with their mental well-being. Among the over-75s, this is even nearly 1 in 3 elderly people. “With aging, often follows a confrontation with loss experiences, radical life changes and meaning issues. If these pile up, the pressure on their psychological well-being grows. The corona crisis added a whole lot more to this. Yet there is very little policy attention for the psychological well-being of the elderly, let alone that the elderly find the appropriate help,” says Nils Vandenweghe, director of the Flemish Council for the Elderly.

Testimonials

That is why the Flemish Elderly Council started the Kopzorgen Verdienen Zorg campaign a year ago. For a year, the Elderly Council brought together the elderly, experts and practitioners to map out needs, experiences and pain points. Those stories made an impression, because one by one the elderly testified about how hard the road was for them to find appropriate psychological help.

“It was crucial for us that the elderly could share their own story during the Kopzorgen Verdienen Zorg campaign. Especially because they often have nowhere to go with their headaches. We crossed these courageous testimonies with the experiences of people who are in practice every day and with the expertise or vision of experts who have an objective view of the case,” says Vandenweghe. “The discussions show that a lot of things are moving in the field, but that those initiatives are often fragmented. There is no structural policy and policymakers have a role to play there.”

22 policy proposals

To encourage the competent ministers to take action, the Flemish Council for the Elderly is launching 22 policy proposals. The organization will do this during the Elderly Week from 15 to 21 November, a week in which social attention is drawn to the older generations.

The idea is often still alive that headaches are automatically part of aging”, Vandenweghe knows. “And that is certainly not always the case.” As a priority for the Flemish Elderly Council, this awareness must be tackled, because according to them this is one of the biggest reasons. why older people with a psychological vulnerability are not directed to the right agencies.

Another important recommendation in the advice of the Flemish Council for the Elderly is that psychological care for the elderly should be accessible and more tailor-made. “People who do want to seek help do not find their way through all the different forms and organizations. Or they fall through the meshes of the net because they do not meet the conditions,” says Vandenweghe. The organization sees benefit in organizing help in places where the elderly come anyway, for example in the local service center, the district health center or even at their home.

You can read the full 22 proposals here.

1 in 5 elderly people between 65 and 74 struggle with their mental well-being. Among the over-75s, this is even nearly 1 in 3 elderly people. “With aging, often follows a confrontation with loss experiences, radical life changes and meaning issues. If these pile up, the pressure on their psychological well-being grows. The corona crisis added a whole lot more to this. Yet there is very little policy attention for the psychological well-being of the elderly, let alone that the elderly find the appropriate help,” says Nils Vandenweghe, director of the Flemish Elderly Council. That is why the Flemish Elderly Council started the campaign Kopzorgen Verdienen Zorg a year ago. For a year, the Elderly Council brought together the elderly, experts and practitioners to map out needs, experiences and pain points. Those stories made an impression, because one by one the elderly testified about how difficult the road they had to travel to find appropriate psychological help. because they often have nowhere to go with their worries. We crossed those courageous testimonials with the experiences of people who work day in day out and with the expertise or vision of experts who have an objective view of the case,” says Vandenweghe. “The discussions show that a lot of things are moving in the field, but that these initiatives are often fragmented. There is no structural policy and policymakers have a role to play there.” 22 policy proposals. The organization will do this during the Elderly Week from 15 to 21 November, a week in which social attention is requested for the older generations. The idea is often still alive that headaches are automatically part of aging”, Vandenweghe knows. “And that is certainly not always the case. This is the case.” As a priority for the Flemish Elderly Council, this awareness must be addressed, because according to them this is one of the biggest reasons why elderly people with a psychological vulnerability are not directed to the right authorities. Another important recommendation in the advice of the Flemish Elderly Council is that psychological care for the elderly must be accessible and more tailor-made.” People who do want to seek help do not find their way through all the different forms and organizations. Or they fall through the meshes of the net, because they do not meet the conditions,” says Vandenweghe. The organization sees benefit in organizing help in places where the elderly come anyway, for example in the local service center, the district health center or even at them at home. You can read the full 22 proposals here.

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