Australia has fallen behind overseas counterparts in the area of geropsychology, and clinical geropsychology in particular. Older Australians are not getting the level of psychological services needed on the basis of their status as a large and growing proportion of the population, nor in terms of the level of psychological problems they experience. Research showing the efficacy of psychological interventions in this age group is briefly reviewed. Given the established need and demonstrated efficacy of psychological interventions in this age group, reasons for the paucity of psychological services to the Australian aged are then explored. Finally, possible solutions to this problem are presented, with an emphasis on the need for increased attention to geropsychology in clinical psychology training. This includes the need for students to be exposed to older adults in their practical placements, both in order to dispel stereotypes and to generate interest in this neglected and growing segment of the population.
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|Published - Jul 1998