Over the last decade, mental health has become a much bigger part of the conversation when it comes to an individual’s overall health and wellness. This positive recognition has allowed mental health diagnosis, treatments, and therapies to become more accepted and accessible. While this change is important for people of all ages, caregivers need to be particularly diligent when watching for mental health changes in senior loved ones.
Aging brings new challenges and issues when it comes to mental health. Triggered by isolation, loss, illness, or medical diagnosis, many elderly need assistance and support in coping with major changes that can leave them feeling overwhelmed or depressed. Thankfully, there are many types of support available, and connecting with a local health care agency can help you find resources to address concerns.
Mental Health Signs To Watch For In Seniors
It can be challenging to recognize mental health concerns in seniors due to other medical conditions or disabilities. Some of the most common signs of mental illnesses that your loved one may exhibit are:
- Inability to focus on tasks or conversations
- Lack of motivation to participate in activities they previously enjoyed
- Low energy and difficulty getting out of bed
- Feeling overwhelming or continued sadness
- Aches and pains that don’t seem to get better with rest and recuperation
- Sweating or feeling dizzy
- Drastic change in personality
- Ignoring personal hygiene or cleaning around the home
- Noticeable change in appetite
What You Should Do To Support Positive Mental Health
Recognizing that your senior loved one may be dealing with mental illness is hard. While it can be challenging to broach the subject with both your loved one and a doctor, the risks of ignoring their mental health and not seeking proper treatment are far greater. Untreated mental health conditions can lead to deteriorating physical health, as those that are suffering mentally may ignore medication requirements, stop exercising or being active, practice poor nutrition and sleep poorly.
In order to support positive mental health in seniors, caregivers should be prepared to do the following:
- Be ready to talk about it.
It may take quite a while for a senior to accept that they are having mental health issues. Be sure to discuss your concerns when you are both calm and be prepared to encounter resistance. Accepting help may seem like giving up their independence, but in reality, getting professional help usually increases their ability to live a normal life. It may just take some time for them to recognize that.
- Find caregiver support.
Even the most devoted caregivers will have a hard time being able to meet a senior’s needs all the time. And caregivers need to be able to care for themselves too! Senior home care in Mississauga may be the solution you need. Whether you choose a Friend At Home or a Personal Support At Home program, professional caregivers can help engage seniors and encourage them to build relationships and remain engaged in activities they enjoy.
- Simplify Tasks.
When dealing with or recovering from mental health challenges, everyday tasks can be too much to handle. In addition to seeking out senior home care, you can also rely on things like grocery or meal delivery services or a cleaning service to help your loved one feel like common tasks are more manageable.
It all comes down to making sure that seniors feel connected and supported as they age. iCare Home Health is committed to providing premier home care and will only bring the most caring and professional people into your home. Watching your parents or other loved ones age can be stressful, but you don’t have to handle it alone. Contact iCare Home Health to find out more about our services and support options.