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In coping with the mental health conditions associated with aging, as with any other serious mental health condition, “recovery” should be the goal.
While a positive attitude can make an enormous difference in aging well, mental illnesses including dementia, which the  (DSM) refers to as “mild” and “major” “neurocognitive disorders,” are not “normal” parts of aging, and should be identified and treated once it is clear that there is a probable disorder.
The ramifications of lack of access, misdiagnosis, and poor treatment reach beyond the mental well-being of the individual.Aging is a time of diminishing mental as well as physical capacities, and cognitive aging is best understood as simply another phase of life.Some people age more successfully than others, and many find new and deeper satisfaction in later life.There are serious physical consequences of untreated mental illness.Older people with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes and heart disease and co-occurring depression are at increased risk for disability, premature mortality, and high health care costs.
In addition, because their needs usually overlap the mental health, substance abuse, general health, and aging services systems, the mental health concerns of elders often fall between the cracks.