The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) reports that “By age 40, about 50% of the population will have or have had a mental illness.” The most common mental illnesses in seniors are dementia, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, and depression. In most cases, an older adult loved one can confuse the signs of mental illness as normal symptoms of old age, resulting in a lack of treatment.
Multiple factors can happen at once, causing a person to feel isolated at a time when their children have moved out and are busy. Mental health issues can be left untreated due to isolation, adult children who don’t live nearby and can’t help, or and sometimes shame over getting treatment. Some common risk factors for the development of mental illness include:
- Genetic mental illness
- High stress
- Chronic pain
- Death of a loved one
- Medical problems
- Decreased income or poverty
- Social isolation
Signs of Mental Health Issues in Seniors:
The warning signs of mental health issues can be confused with irritability or frustration. They can also be seen as a normal symptom of aging. Here is a list of signs to pay attention to if your loved one might have mental health issues:
- Mood swings
- Change in appetite
- Thoughts of suicide
- Dependency on drugs or alcohol
- Inability to sleep
- Compulsive behaviour
- Lack of attention to hygiene or self-care
If these symptoms are noticeable in your elderly parent or family member, contact your family doctor for an evaluation. Your doctor may recommend therapy and/or medication to help manage your loved one’s symptoms.
iCare Home Health: Premier Home Care Services For Your Loved One
If your loved one is struggling with a mental illness and requires at-home premier home care services to manage their condition, the experienced and compassionate caregivers at iCare Home Health can help. We’re a health care agency serving the Mississauga, Burlington, and Oakville areas. Our services include live-in care and scheduled visits, art therapy, recreation therapy, and more. Contact iCare Home Health for more information and for a consultation.