Older Adult Initiative

Oregon Health Authority’s Initiative
on Older Adult Behavioral Health

The Older Adult Behavioral Health Initiative (OABHI) has three main goals:

  1. Improve partnerships among primary care, aging/disability services, specialty healthcare, and behavioral health services
  2. Increase community capacity related to older adult behavioral health care
  3. Facilitate the implementation of evidence-based behavioral health programs in our community

The OHA initiative on Older Adult Behavioral Health is not just designed to help Oregonians who are age 64 or older, but also any adult with a physical disability. We believe that all Oregonians deserve the opportunity to live healthy satisfying lives in the community of their choice.  Lane County has three Behavioral Health Specialists ready to assist older adults in achieving the goals of Better Health, Better Care, and Lower Costs.

 

The number of Older Adults (Age 65 and older) in Lane County is projected to increase by 400 individuals per month through the end of 2020. This section is designed to provide resources and tips for older adults and their families to help support a vibrant and active aging population. As we age we tend to become more selective of the activities and relationships we engage in. This can lead to an increased sense of satisfaction and more secure identity, helped in part by an increased ability to regulate our emotions. We also tend to modify our own approach to relationships and improve our personality, leading most older adults to report that they are happier than they were earlier in life.

 

Seniors can experience a variety of changes in their circumstances and relationships as they age. Children may become independent and move away, friends, spouses, and/or loved ones can be lost through illness, disability, and death. Decline in employment and productivity, as well as related social interactions, can impact mood and income levels, and some older adults develop a perception that they have nothing to contribute and have become a burden on society and loved ones. All of these changes make this population more vulnerable to behavioral health conditions and social isolation. They can also become more medically fragile as the aging process continues. This time of life requires a lot of planning, and understanding the services and resources available can help older adults and their families adjust and make the most of this stage of life.