One key healthcare challenge of Vietnam is the rapidly aging population. Projects have been devoted to addressing improvements in physical healthcare. There are however, few studies addressing the mental health of elders in Vietnam. This proposed project focuses on this issue. From official statistics, the aging index of Vietnam increased from 25 % in 1999 to 51 % in 2019; and nearly 95 % of elders are affected by about 3 chronic disorders including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, depression and neurodegenerative diseases. The following interventions were implemented: (1) new policies to channel financial investment to geriatric research, (2) establishment of geriatric associations across the nation, and (3) increasing numbers of geriatric departments in hospital at central cities. However, it is unclear (1) what mental disorders are most common among them, (2) how the diagnosis and treatments for elders differ from those for youngers, and (3) what support systems and technologies are in place to support elderly living with mental health problems. In this proposal, we focus on the study of mental health issues of the elders and work synergistically with developed countries like the UK and Japan to share learning in those issues to help inform the development of efficient and low-cost diagnostic methods, treatments, interventional programs as well as support system. We expect that this study will lay the foundation for developing a model for the sustainable mental wellbeing of elders, their families and the wider community. This could also readily be discussed and disseminated in other developing countries.
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