Understanding Senior Mental Health: Causes and Care
While taking care of our elders, we take all the possible measures to ensure that their physical health is taken care of. But we often tend to overlook their mental health. Considering the stigma attached to mental health, this concern is further reinforced when it comes to senior health.
Mental health problems are common among seniors and may include isolation, affective and anxiety disorders, dementia, and psychosis. As a result of physical conditions or surgical interventions, many seniors also suffer from sleep and behavioral disorders, cognitive deterioration. The elderly are less likely to articulate their problems, owing to the fear that others might not understand them fully. This is where the role of healthcare providers and caretakers comes in. If you are looking to get caregiver services in Canoga Park, we can help!
The primary reasons for deteriorating mental health in elders are the following.
Their Physical Health
According to a report published by CDC, It is estimated that 20% of people age 55 years or older experience some type of mental health concern. The most common conditions include anxiety, severe cognitive impairment, and mood disorders (such as depression or bipolar disorder). As our folks enter into old age, their physical health starts to deteriorate. This deteriorating physical condition adds to their anxieties and frustration of being unable to perform chores or of even being bedridden.
It is absolutely normal for children to grow up, move out and get busy with their personal and professional lives. This inevitable course of action can take a toll on the parents’ mental and emotional health. With having no one to speak to or visit regularly, our parents feel isolated and lonely, further driving them into depression.
Loss of a Loved One
With the advancement of age, our elders start losing their friends, partners, and dear ones. The void left behind is not something they can fill by distracting themselves with work, which inevitably drives them into depression. Depression can further lead to impairments in physical, mental, and social functioning. The presence of depressive disorders also often adversely affects the course and complicates the treatment of other chronic diseases.
Now that you know what are the primary causes of mental health issues in elders, here’s how you can help a senior with these issues.
Ensure Effective Communication
Feeling of isolation and helplessness is common in senior people. To ensure that your elders are both mentally and physically sound, it is crucial to communicate with them. If their health allows, you can go out for a walk or simply sit down with them to share highlights of your day and listen to anecdotes from their past.
Ensure They Take Their Medications as Prescribed
This will help treat the illness or alleviate symptoms. Be wary of what medications have been prescribed, their potential side effects, as well as any interactions with other drugs the patient is taking, as well as food, supplements, and other substances.
Find Much Needed Support
Taking care of the elderly can be challenging, especially if you live away from home. Don’t let these factors come in the way of the love and care you can give your parents. To avoid burnout, you can always take help from external sources. If you are looking for a caregiver agency in Canoga Park, CA, get in touch with us at AdvantagePlusCaregivers.com.