Meeting the mental health needs of older women: taking social inequality into account

Milne, Alisoun and Williamson, Jennie (2000) Meeting the mental health needs of older women: taking social inequality into account. Ageing and Society, 20 . pp. 699-723. ISSN 0144-686X. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Abstract

Whilst there is increasing acceptance that social inequalities have implications for mental health, there is minimal acknowledgement of their effects on the development and treatment of mental ill health in older people. This paper focuses on older women, as they are the majority sufferers of mental illness in later life, and are particularly vulnerable to the cumulative effects of lifelong and age-related inequalities. The authors, who draw upon literature from the fields of gerontology and mental health, argue that for effective care to be developed, older women's mental ill health needs to be seen within the context of their past and present experience of social inequalities. Evidence particularly relates to socio-economic disadvantages as well as to the consequences of discrimination. It is argued that psychological vulnerability is further compounded by the gendered effects of social policy, and by a care system which constructs mental health needs as unrelated to oppression, and dislocated from their economic, social and historical roots. Finally, the authors outline the key components of a care and service system which takes account of social inequalities, and which accords centrality to the experiences, views and opinions of older women with mental health problems.

Item Type: Review
Uncontrolled keywords: social inequality; older women; gender; mental health
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Social Policy
Depositing User: O.O. Odanye
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2009 13:27
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2014 09:18
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/16386 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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