One out of every four seniors has a mental disorder, like dementia or depression. The most common mental health problem among the aged population is depression. Do you know that the group reporting the highest suicide rate is the seniors aged 85 and above? Despite this figure, still, more than two-thirds of the elderly persons suffering from mental health problems do not get access to the support and treatment they need. The mental health services are quite limited and do not adequately serve the growing size of the aging population. This article discusses the mental well-being of seniors. Keep reading…
Why Your Mental Well-Being Matters
Suppose you sustain injuries on your legs as a result of falling or knocking yourself on some hard object, would you ignore seeking treatment? Of course, not. You may not be able to survive the pain. Ignoring such matters may make you develop more problems, especially at old age. So, you will have to seek treatment and ensure you don’t go through such kind of pain again. I guess this is straightforward. So, what happens when something is wrong with your mind? Would you know? And if you do, would you seek help? Or would you deny the fact that it may be a serious mental issue that needs quick resolution? People fail to understand issues around mental health among seniors. suppose you have some mental problems and fail to recognize and treat them early, you may develop more complications, including serious physical illnesses. You may also lose the ability to enjoy life, build and maintain healthy relationships, or even perform normal day-to-day activities. Failure to treat mental problems may make it harder to heal or manage the illnesses already present in your body. Want to achieve a better quality of life? Then, don’t ignore your mental health.
The Most Common Mental Health Problems among the Seniors
About 15% of over 60 years old adults suffer from a mental problem. Find more information at https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/mental-health-of-older-adults. In most cases, we have come across adults suffering from some of these illnesses, although they may try as much as possible, to keep their challenges private. Thinking that these problems are a normal part of growing old? You are wrong. Health experts don’t consider these problems as part of aging. Anyone suffering from them should not feel ashamed to the point of isolating from groups. Please note that these mental conditions can be treated successfully if you seek professional assistance. Some of the most common mental problems among elderly persons include:
- The aged individuals are at a high risk of developing depression, mostly because of the changes they go through as they grow older. You have probably felt sad at some point in your life, regardless of your age. Depression is more than just sadness though. Have you seen a senior with a low mood? It doesn’t always look like sadness. Have you experienced feelings of hopelessness, emptiness, worthlessness, or anxiety? These are indications that you are probably going through depression. You lose interest in activities you used to enjoy. Have you had thoughts of death or committing suicide? Elderly males record the highest rate of suicide. Do you know someone suffering from depression or has attempted to commit suicide? Please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Visit https://www.greatseniorliving.com/health-wellness/depression-in-the-elderly for more details about depression among elderly persons and what to do to seek the support you need.
- Dementia. Alzheimer’s diseases are one of the most common forms of dementia. Note that other forms of dementia also exist, and can cause problems like memory loss. Dementia can also cause changes in personality, difficulties in communicating, and confusion.
- Delirium. Delirium is common among seniors admitted in health care settings because of separate medical conditions. Delirium is characterized by confusion, decreased mobility and body movement, and reduced concentration. Seniors with delirium may also suffer from impaired judgment.
- Bipolar Disorder. This condition affects a person’s mood and general behavior. How do you know someone is suffering from bipolar disorder? Well, someone experiencing different episodes in their lives; sometimes they are really happy and sometimes they feel down, hopeless, and sad.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Have you encountered a traumatic or shocking event in your life? Then you are likely to develop PTSD. The elderly persons suffering from PTSD will have flight or fight feelings when they listen to certain sounds and or see some things that remind them of their previous traumatic event.
Boosting Mental Health and Well-Being for Seniors
- Exercise. Go for a daily walk around the community. You can also consider joining an exercise class for seniors in your area.
- Socialize. Talk to people. Make friends in your new senior center and chat with them about their experiences. A variety of classes are available in most of the senior centers, including those for arts and crafts. Just find something you enjoy and meet people with similar interests in those classes.
- Get Involved in the Family Gatherings. How often do you visit your family and have long talks with them? Create some time to spend with your grandchildren and experience the joy that comes with these little ones’ company.
- Get a Pet for Yourself. Whether you love dogs or cats, having a pet gets you busy and may help a lot when it comes to boosting your mental health as an elderly. Pets reduce depression and make you feel less agitated. They also keep you engaged socially.
- Join others in Playing Games. You don’t have to play a hard game. Have you tried word puzzles and games like sudoku? Such games will keep you active and mentally stimulated, thereby enhancing your mental wellness.
- Learn Something New. Ever considered going back to school? Why don’t you put your brain to work by joining a class in your local community training college? You don’t have to pick a hard course. Just go for something easy. Try learning a foreign language. This will improve your focus and boost your mental health.