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New report finds as many as 1 in 5 seniors has mental health or substance abuse problem.

10:59 AM, Jul 10, 2012   |    comments
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By Lauran Neegaard
AP Medical Writer

Washington (AP) -- Getting older doesn't just mean a risk for physical ailments like heart disease and bum knees: A new report finds as many as 1 in 5 seniors has a mental health or substance abuse problem.

The Institute of Medicine says millions of aging baby boomers may have a hard time finding care for mental health problems such as depression. It found the nation is woefully lacking in doctors, nurses and other health workers trained for their special mental health needs, as the country focuses instead on preparing for the physical health needs of a rapidly aging population.

The panel found at least 5.6 million to 8 million Americans 65 and older have a mental health condition or substance abuse disorder, numbers sure to grow as the senior population does.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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