Iowa Public Health Data

IDPH Research Agenda -  Older Adult Mental Health

older adult mental health

About this topic: Both healthy aging and mental health care were identified as important issues in the Healthy Iowans plan. Cognitive decline and other mental health issues related to aging affects individuals across their life course, their families, and their communities. Additionally, recent policy changes in Iowa, including the creation of Mental Health and Disability Services regions in 2014, has changed the mental health services landscape. As the population of Iowa ages, particularly in rural areas, older adult mental health is an emerging issue with significant impacts on population health.

Research Questions:

  1. How well do current IDPH data, including hospitalization and death data, estimate the prevalence of mental illness, including age-related cognitive decline in Iowa?
  2. How are mental and physical healthcare providers with training in geriatric care geographically distributed in Iowa? What barriers exist for older adults to access these professionals?
  3. Who is providing care giving to older Iowans, and how do roles and responsibilities vary across diverse groups? What are Iowa’s caregivers’ needs related to skills and support?

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