This guideline covers promoting mental wellbeing in people aged over 65. It focuses on practical support for everyday activities, based on occupational therapy principles and methods. This includes working with older people and their carers to agree what kind of support they need.


This guideline includes recommendations on:

Who is it for?

  • Health and other professionals, including those working in local authorities and the wider public, private, voluntary and community sectors
  • Commissioners and providers
  • People over 65 and their families and carers

Is this guideline up to date?

December 2022: During early scoping of the update of this guideline, it was decided that the outcomes in the trial that prompted the update were too different to those in the original guideline. NICE is currently looking at its mental health and wellbeing suite of guidelines and will consider this issue in this context. 

Guideline development process

How we develop NICE guidelines

This guideline was previously called mental wellbeing and older people.

Your responsibility

The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals and practitioners are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or the people using their service. It is not mandatory to apply the recommendations, and the guideline does not override the responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and their families and carers or guardian.

All problems (adverse events) related to a medicine or medical device used for treatment or in a procedure should be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency using the Yellow Card Scheme.

Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.

Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.