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The Mental Health and Rights of Mentally Ill Older People 

The Mental Health and Rights of Mentally Ill Older People
Chapter:
The Mental Health and Rights of Mentally Ill Older People
Author(s):

Carmelle Peisah

, Henry Brodaty

, and Nick O’Neill

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199213962.003.0033
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date: 22 October 2019

In the light of the question ‘What constitutes a life worth living as an ageing member of our society?’ and related human rights frameworks for older persons, Carmelle Peisah, Henry Brodaty, and Nick O’Neill note the impacts of ageism and discrimination, disability and dependency, and mental disorders. They consider the challenge of realizing rights for disabled, marginalized, and/ or mentally ill older people. They reflect on the domains of independence/autonomy, safety and dignity, and care. Independence/autonomy is examined in relation to healthcare (e.g. obtaining consent for psychotropic drug use), personal care and accommodation, relationships and sexuality, and end of life decisions. Safety and dignity includes freedom from all types of abuse, especially in residential settings and in these settings’ use of physical and chemical restraints for mentally ill and dementing older people. Care includes the right to health and community care (both often constrained by family and community resources), and is complicated by questions about the person’s decision-making capacity. The involuntary detention and care of older people outside mental health settings is a vexed issue. The impact of the CRPD for older people with mental disorders is yet to be seen.

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