Globally, the number of elderly individuals is growing at an unprecedented rate. Currently, eleven percent of the worldwide population is 65 years and older. This number will more than double to twenty-two percent (2 billion) by 2050. As the older population continues its inexorable growth, so does the number of older adults with mental health disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. For example, the number of individuals affected by dementia worldwide is expected to double every twenty years to over 81 million by 2040. Depressive episodes in later life are also prevalent, and depression is the leading cause of disability in older adults worldwide. These mental disorders lead to increased morbidity and mortality in older adults, and often they can exact a negative toll on their family members. To respond to the ageing world, this book sets out to help researchers, policy makers, service providers, and students develop their kwledge of the issues associated with ageing and mental health throughout the world. Written by twenty-one gerontological experts from Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, and Oceania, this book provides an understanding of issues related to ageing and mental health from global perspectives.
Dr Wendy Wen Li is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology in College of Healthcare Sciences at James Cook University, Australia. Prior to her current appointment she was a Teaching Fellow in School of Psychology at the University of Waikato, a Counsellor at the Asian Services of the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand, and a Senior Lecturer at Guangdong Womens Polytechnic College in China. Dr. Li is currently a Research Fellow of The Cairns Institute, JCU; an Associate of WHO Collaborating Centres for Nursing and Midwifery Education and Research Capacity Building; a Research Associate with School of Psychology at the University of Waikato, New Zealand; and a Senior Research Consultant for Verite (a US-based NGO) of the China Office. Dr. Li has an extensive research experience and led projects in Australia, New Zealand and China in areas of ageing, mental health, intergroup relations and discrimination, migration and refugee, and problem gambling and substance abuse.