This is considered the age when one becomes an older person. According to the World Health Organization (2007), there are three age groups that older people can be divided into. The first group is older workers from the age of 55 to 64. The second group is older people from the age of 65 to 79 years while the third group is 80 years and above. These older age groups are the most diverse in terms of education, attitudes, family background, social background, hobbies, preferences and political attachments.
There are six main factors that influence mental health. These are financial security, life span experiences, and structural factors such as housing, employment, social support and individual coping skills. The mental health of older people as well as their well-being issues in older people are unique and have a greater relevance to them. Retirement is an issue that has great relevance to people who are 60 to 80 years age (National Institute for Mental Health in England 2003). As much as it means relief from responsibilities, retirement also mean a loss of status, less social relationships and a reduced role in life. This age group also suffers from health and physical deterioration, changing the environment from moving their home, loss of financial stability and a loss of sense of belonging.
People aged 80 years and above are found to increasingly lose friends, family members and their spouses (Lehtinen 2008). They use their sense of purpose in life and their functional ability deteriorates. These people constantly deal with bereavement, death and the fact that their own life is ending. Not all of those older people are the same. They have different values, life experiences, health, economic status and culture. When planning the promotion of the mental health for older people, all of these factors should be put into consideration.
A person’s continuity through life gives them a positive history filled with experiences. This continuity gives a person