Later life mental health in the spotlight
Later life mental health is in the spotlight this week, but you might be wondering, what is a Financial Planner doing writing about mental health and kindness?
It’s Mental Health Awareness Week until 24th May, with the theme of kindness this year, as a response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Writing and talking about mental health is essential for all of us, especially when it comes to financial implications.
While the work I do as a Financial Planner isn’t directly related to mental health (in the same way it might be for a psychiatrist, for example), there’s an indirect mental health benefit of making a long-term plan for your money. Financial wellbeing and mental health are very closely connected.
I’ve lost count of the number of new clients who have told me about the impact of financial stress on their mental health and wellbeing. Working as I do with clients addressing retirement and later life planning, this need for financial security and its associated financial wellbeing is even more critical.
New research published this week to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week found that one in four over 65s have depression.
The research, carried out by insurer SunLife, also found that this age group are eight times less likely to be referred to mental health services than younger people.
Only 6% of older people with depression are being referred for professional help, compared to 50% of younger people.
One of the biggest challenges prompting mental health issues in older people is loneliness. The charity Age UK explains that loneliness causes particular mental health issues for people in older generations.
At this time, when we face self-isolation for the sake of our health, this loneliness is an even greater risk than before. If you have elderly neighbours, friends or relatives, what acts of kindness can you perform to ensure they are safe and have company while maintaining social distancing?
SunLife’s research found that one in four people aged 55 or over are lonely at least some of the time. They found that one in 33 over 55s are lonely ‘all of the time’, and one in 12 say they have become lonelier since turning 50.
For one in six over 55s, becoming lonelier as they get older is their biggest worry for the future.
We know that older people find it harder to talk about their mental health, often attaching a stigma to this sensitive subject. This means that older people might not admit to being lonely, and all of the feelings this prompts.
There are plenty of things we can do to address loneliness and mental health problems in later life.
It’s essential to get plenty of physical activity, made slightly easier now we can all take unlimited outdoors exercise each day!
We should also eat and sleep well, and find opportunities where possible to connect, physically or virtually, with others.
When it comes to money in later life, knowing how stressful money worries can be, it’s essential to take control. Speaking with a Financial Planner like me can help you understand where you are today, where you would like to be in the future, and the best way to reach that financial destination.
Financial Planning in later life is all about gaining some control over your finances.
I know the pandemic has created a great deal of uncertainty about the future, especially when it comes to financial matters. Many of the clients I speak to want to know if they can still achieve their goals, which often include passing money to the next generation, once they have secured their own financial future.
Other money-related worries in the time of the coronavirus include concerns about placing loved ones in care homes, and how to best find the right care and support in light of the provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020.
If you’re worried about the future, we should talk. I carry out a later life health check, looking at a variety of essential areas including wills, powers of attorney and plans for later life.
All of my services are available to access remotely, with an easy to use video calling platform with relevant members of the family.
You can schedule your discovery call at financialcaresolutions.co.uk/discovery-call, using my online calendar booking form. This first call is at my expense and without obligation; it’s an excellent opportunity to find out if what I do at Financial Care Solutions can help to improve your financial wellbeing.
The information contained in this blog post does not constitute advice or recommendations. You should seek independent financial advice before acting on any information on this website.