Mental health relates to any behaviours and conditions which impedes with social functioning capacity to negotiate daily life (WHO | Mental Health, 2019) . Many older people will have some sort of mental health issue at some point, this may be due to illness, grief and loss, financial stress and loss of independence. Between 2017-18, 9.9 billion dollars was spent in mental health and 4.3 million people received mental health services. Mental health is as important as physical wellbeing for elderly people, this is also true for people with dementia (Mental Health Services in Australia, Prevalence, Impact and Burden, 2019). The vulnerable group chosen for this paper is elderly people with dementia living in long term aged care homes and in the community. The national health priority in focus is mental health.
Sundowning syndrome or nocturnal delirium is used to describe a wide range of behaviours of neuropsychiatric (NPS) symptoms that often happen in people with dementia. The behavioural and neuropsychiatric symptoms seen in people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease include; repetitive behaviours, delusions, misidentification, wandering, suicidal and sociopathic behaviours. Both normal ageing and dementia are associated with changes to the circadian regulation of physiology and behaviour (Cipriani et al., 2015)
Between 2017-18, 9.9 billion dollars was spent in mental health and 4.3 million people received mental health services (Mental Health Services in Australia, Prevalence, Impact and Burden, 2019). The proportion of older Australians is increasing and so as the life expectancy, which means an overall increase in chronic illnesses. The prevalence for dementia in Aboriginal and Torres Islander communities is 2 -5 times higher than that of non-Aboriginal Australians (The Health and Welfare of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, 2015). There several factors that are said to contribute to this disturbing trend. For example, Aboriginal and Torres strait Islanders, tend to have double the rates of traumatic injury, higher rates of smoking and have a markedly higher incidence of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular and renal diseases