The Malta Independent 11 November 2019, Monday

Mental health services for the elderly launched

Jeremy Micallef Tuesday, 13 August 2019, 08:09 Last update: about 4 months ago

A new psychogeriatric service targeted towards the elderly was launched on Monday by Parliamentary Secretary for Active Ageing Anthony AgiusDecelis.

The new service comes amid the construction of a litany of care homes and launching of new services across the island aimed at making such services more accessible to the most vulnerable.

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CEO Dr Renzo De Gabriele explained that the scope of this new services was to reach those who are marginalized and don’t have access to such services due to mobility issues or any other problems they may face.

He went on to add that the department felt the need for a service equipped with an expert in the psychogeriatric sector specifically to help give elders advice on mental health, even through personal home visits if needs be.

Just last June, a research study by medical doctor Gerd Xuereb conducted in a local care home found that more elderly people in Maltese long-term care facilities suffer from mild depression and contemplate suicide than people in similar institutions abroad – nearly 60% suffered from depression.

Parliamentary Secretary Anthony AgiusDecelis noted that this new service serves as an example of the government looking to ensure that all people have access to holistic care of one form or another, particularly with a quarter of the population facing mental health challenges for one reason or another.

 

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