Mental health disorders can occur at any age, but seniors experience life changes that can drastically affect their mental health. These five disorders are among the most common for seniors.
Many factors contribute to depression among the elderly, including chronic illness, financial difficulties, and increased social isolation. The symptoms of depression include:
- Unexplained persistent feelings of sadness
- Loss of interest in hobbies and activities
- Changes in eating and sleeping patterns
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Suicidal thoughts
This disorder is typically treated with prescription medications. Suicidal thoughts are considered a medical emergency and should be addressed by a medical professional immediately.
For those with minor symptoms of depression, lifestyle changes can relieve some symptoms. For instance, spending time in nature can increase feelings of wellbeing in seniors with minor symptoms of depression. Taking advantage of community resources such as senior centers can also alleviate the symptoms of depression by enhancing social interactions.
Having the companionship of a compassionate caregiver may help your loved one who’s been diagnosed with depression. Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Lincoln, CA, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
2. Dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are characterized by forgetfulness, confusion, and an inability to perform tasks that require more than one step, such as following a recipe or balancing a bank account. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are progressive conditions, which means their symptoms worsen over time. Both of these conditions are often managed with prescription medications.
3. Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorders are particularly common among seniors with depression. The symptoms of anxiety include unexplainable feelings of fear, feelings of impending doom, and panic attacks, which are difficult to diagnose without professional help.
Mental health issues such as anxiety are just some of the challenges that can affect seniors in their golden years. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality homecare services Lincoln families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
4. Substance Abuse & Self-Harm
According to the World Health Organization, substance misuse and self-harm are responsible for approximately one-fourth of all deaths among seniors 60 and older. Seniors may misuse their prescription medications. Misusing recreational substances, such as alcohol, is also common. If you suspect your loved one needs help, talk to the doctor to find professional assistance in your local area. Contact emergency medical healthcare providers if your loved one is having suicidal thoughts or engaging in self-harming behaviors.
Schizophrenia can range from mild to severe and is characterized by disordered thoughts, delusions, and auditory or visual hallucinations. Your loved one may become suspicious of once-trusted caregivers or feel as if he or she is being watched or persecuted by an invisible entity.
Managing schizophrenia is often challenging for both seniors and their caregivers. Your loved one may resist taking medications, causing symptoms to become unmanageable. Additionally, other disorders, including insomnia and eating disorders, are common among those with schizophrenia. Seek professional assistance if your loved one needs help managing the symptoms of this disorder. Both inpatient and outpatient treatments are available for seniors diagnosed with mental disorders.
Addressing their mental issues can make it easier for older adults to continue aging in place. Living alone at home in the golden years can present a few unique challenges. Trust senior home care professionals to help your senior loved one maintain a higher quality of life while he or she manages an illness and performs the daily tasks of living. If your loved one needs professional care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. To hire a compassionate, dedicated caregiver, call us at (916) 226-3737 today.