9 Important Things to Know About Senior Mental Health
- 1.1 Aging and Mental Health Struggles
- 1.2 Causes Behind Mental Illnesses
- 1.3 Dementia and Depression
- 1.4 Risk of Suicide
- 1.5 Barriers to Seeking Treatment
- 1.6 Treat Mental Illness Early
- 1.7 Recovering From Mental Health Struggles
- 1.8 Don’t Ignore Mental Illness
- 1.9 Exercise and Mental Health
Did you know a lot of aging adults struggle with mental health disorders? If you want to learn about senior mental health, we can help.
In this guide, we’ll go over how to improve the mental health of seniors.
Want to learn more? Keep reading.
9 Important Things to Know About Senior Mental Health
Aging and Mental Health Struggles
Many aging adults will experience ups and downs in their lives yet remain happy and satisfied.
Others might seem to have it all together and yet have signs of mental illness.
The changes and stresses with aging will affect seniors differently. Relatives and caregivers should remain observant of the senior’s emotional struggles.
If you notice your aging parent seems more stressed than normal or struggles with the fear of the future, talk to them. You could recommend therapy or stress reduction techniques.
Causes Behind Mental Illnesses
Seniors suffer from mental illness because they experience many conditions at once. Older adults suffer in silence since mental health issues aren’t easily identified.
Causes include a loss of a loved one, problems with finances, or a chronic disorder.
Some people struggle if they undergo a decline in vision, mobility, or hearing. Medications can also affect a person’s thoughts, emotions, or behaviors.
Dementia and Depression
A lot of older adults struggle with dementia and depression. Depression is a disorder affecting how people behave, think, and feel.
The disease expresses itself as persistent sadness and loss of interest in activities.
Dementia is a progressive brain disorder. The affected person will begin to experience cognitive problems like memory loss.
Dementia can trigger depression and worsen the disease. Active and happy seniors can still experience mental health struggles alongside dementia.
Risk of Suicide
Older adults account for around 18 percent of suicide deaths, which has begun to rise. These reported suicides occur to seniors isolated and struggle with mental health issues.
Barriers to Seeking Treatment
Seniors don’t always seek help for their mental health struggles. Seniors believe depressive episodes or anxiety are part of the aging process.
There are other barriers to seeking treatment. Some seniors aren’t able to afford the treatment. Others don’t have a mode of transportation or feel afraid to take the medication. Others don’t find therapy helpful.
Treat Mental Illness Early
If possible, seniors should seek reputable mental healthcare services right away. Early treatment will help in the long run.
Learning about warning signs will help the seniors in an assisted living community. The seniors can get early intervention and treatment, preventing the disorder from developing or worsening.
Common warning signs include depressive episodes or loneliness that lasts for weeks. Look out for new changes in mood like sadness, anger, or irritability.
Loss of appetite or sleep struggles are also common problems. People who withdraw from social activities might have an underlying mental health struggle.
Changes in performing daily tasks like bathing, eating, or socializing are other signs.
Recovering From Mental Health Struggles
Mental illness at any stage is a struggle, yet there’s hope. Older adults have a similar success rate of recovering from an illness. Seniors with depression can recover from the help of medication and psychotherapy.
There are also different treatments available. You can try prevention methods, and senior assisted living communities will have other services to promote healthy living.
Seniors can have access to healthy housing and medical services. There are also social activities for seniors. There are programs for mental health awareness as well.
Don’t Ignore Mental Illness
Mental health can impact a senior’s wellness, and it can influence their well-being. Neglecting mental health will end up in a deterioration.
People won’t heal as quickly from diseases and will struggle with quality of life. Aging should remain a graceful transition that’s still enjoyable. No matter your age, enjoy life and thrive.
Make it a priority to seek services for mental health issues if you’re struggling. As a caregiver, look for signs of poor mental health in your loved ones.
Exercise and Mental Health
To improve mental and physical health, make exercise a priority. Regular walks or yoga classes will benefit your entire body. Also, regular exercise can help to reduce the risk of falls.
Getting enough exercise and remaining active is essential for seniors’ mental health.
Strength training and stretching are also critical. This can lower the risk of age-related issues like joint pain, chronic illness, and bone fractures. Exercise also manages anxiety, depression, and stress.
If you are getting older, or your parent is aging, go for walks together. You both will benefit from getting outside and spending time together.
Find a Reputable Assisted Living Community
If your aging parent is ready to go to an assisted living community, spend time searching for a reputable one. Bring your loved ones to a place where they will flourish.
You should spend time reading reviews of the various communities. Ask to speak to previous clients or current clients.
Some people will go a step further and start their own business. If you’re interested, discover more on how you can own a senior care franchise.
Understanding Senior Mental Health Struggles
We hope this guide on improving senior mental health was helpful. Consider how you can help your aging loved ones prevent mental health struggles.
Are there some things they worry about or need assistance with?
Are you looking for more lifestyle or health tips? Learn about how to improve mental health today by checking out our blog resources.