APA Division 20 (Adult Development & Aging) is composed of APA members concerned with the study of psychological development and change throughout the adult years (http://aging.ufl.edu/apadiv20). APA Division 12-II (Clinical Geropsychology) is composed of APA members devoted to research, training, and providing psychological services for older adults (http://geropsych.org). 7
Many of the mental and behavioral health problems inaccurately attributed to the natural aging process are preventable or treatable. About two-thirds of older adults with a mental disorder do not receive needed services. The need and demand for these services are expected to increase because of the growing older population and the increased acceptance and utilization of mental health services by aging baby boomers. Barriers to mental health services that older adults face include financial costs of service, poor diagnosis and referral to mental health professionals of older adults seen in primary care settings, shortage of mental health professionals trained to work with older adults, and lack of available specialized mental health services and programs. Older adults often have complex, interacting mental and physical health problems that make the recognition and treatment of mental health disorders especially difficult.
Psychologists are highly qualified health care providers skilled in the assessment and treatment of the problems of older adults, their families, and caregivers.
Psychological research has contributed significantly to the understanding and treatment of the major health concerns of our time: heart disease, cancer, AIDS, mental disorders, dementia, diabetes, chronic pain, chronic respiratory ailments, and arthritis, among others. The printing and distribution of this brochure is made possible by the generous support of The Retirement Research Foundation.