All Things Being Equal

Location: England

Older people with mental health problems in England do not receive the same level or quality of care as younger people. Despite policies and guidelines setting out the importance of age equality in mental health care, both direct and indirect discrimination has continued to occur within services.

This has been due in part to the way in which divisions have traditionally been created in services between care for working age adults and older people within mental health and social care. Age thresholds, usually set at 65, have meant that some older people are unable to receive or access a range of services and treatment available to younger adults.

This paper sets out the background to the current situation, based on evidence published by a range of organisations with an interest in the provision of older people’s mental health care. It looks at the challenges and implications for the future posed by the increasing number of older people in England, and makes recommendations aimed at ensuring older people receive the best possible health and social care and support on a fair and equitable basis.

All Things Being Equal report cover

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