Mental Health in Seniors—Maintaining Good Health

Mental Health in seniors

Mental health for boomers is very important to our overall well-being. But today many boomers are struggling to get adequate help and support. Doctors and caregivers and family members should be concerned about seniors mental health.

Sometimes mental symptoms get confused with symptoms of aging. There are very important differences between aging and mental health. And it would be wise for caregivers to recognize the difference and learn how to support the senior showing the symptom

Mental health can affect any age group. But those who are 55 years and older are more at risk to suffer from mental health issues. It is reported that 20% of people in this age group are more at risk for mental health issues than the younger population.

There are different types of mental health issues but the most common ones among boomers are Anxiety and depression.

It is said that men over the age of 85 are more at risk for committing suicide than younger men and about 45 out of every 100.000 seniors commit suicide which is usually the cause of mental health issues.

It is said that by the year 2050 the world’s elderly population is estimated to be double its current size this will mean there will be more seniors susceptible to mental health issues.

THE BIG PROBLEM

Sometimes there are stigmas associated with mental health and because of this there is a lack of desire to discuss the subject of mental illness so it usually gets swept under the rug and this is a big problem in diagnosing the illness.

Sometimes seniors have to additionally, deal with the problem of ageism. People often associate certain behaviors in seniors as effects of aging. But in Fact, there are mental health problems and not knowing the differences can seriously affect a senior’s well-being. There are.important symptoms. differences between aging and elderly mental health

Differences Between age and mental illness

While some symptoms of mental illness can appear as symptoms of aging it is important to know the differences between age and an elderly mental illness.

If symptoms aren’t caught in its early stage the senior is at high risk for severe anxiety, depression, or even suicide.

A lot of boomers do not feel comfortable speaking to their primary doctors about their symptoms because they believe the doctor will not take them seriously and they could be right in this regard. It is shown that of all those who express concern about their symptoms and spoke about them 55% still goes undiagnosed

Anxiety and depression are the two most common symptoms in boomers but these are often diagnosed as age-related and there can not be too much stressed on early detection as this is vital to treating the disease at an early stage.

A lot of boomers do not feel comfortable speaking to their primary doctors about their symptoms because they believe the doctor will not take them seriously and they could be right in this regard. It is shown that of all those who express concern about their symptoms and spoke about them 55% still goes undiagnosed

Anxiety and depression are the two most common symptoms in boomers but these are often diagnosed as age-related and there can not be too much stressed on early detection as this is vital to treating the disease at an early stage.

SYMPTOMS OF MENTAL ILLNESS IN SENIORS

The symptoms of mental illness may appear as the effects of aging But, you can typically think of concerning mental illness symptoms as exaggerated aging symptoms. Forgetfulness is common with aging but a continuous memory that interferes with the daily task should be a concern.

These are some important mental health symptoms in seniors but not limited to:-

  • Lack of concern for appearances
  • Showing mood changes may show signs of worry or confusion
  • Signs of memory loss. Asking the same question often.
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Lack of social interactions.
  • Fatigue change in sleep patterns

If you are a caregiver for a senior that is exhibiting any of these symptoms then it is time to speak to a doctor. But it should be noted that the symptoms of anxiety and depression are different;

ANXIETY IN SENIORS

Anxiety disorders can express itself in several forms like consuming uncontrollable fear becoming a panic disorder or social which will affect about 15% of seniors each year. While it is normal for anyone to sometimes worry but anxiety goes from control worry to panic.

Some symptoms of Anxiety are

Tense muscle and frequent headaches

  • Fatigue and changes in sleep patterns
  • Consistently feeling on edge
  • Feeling out of control of worry
  • Difficulty concentrating and remembering information
  • Difficulty talking to or being around others
  • Frequent nausea

Seniors who have had a stressful life full of stressful events are more at risk but anxiety can affect anyone

DEPRESSION IN SENIORS

Depression is one of the common seniors mental disorders that are not diagnosed. Depression affects the everyday life of the individual. Physically socially, and emotionally. People usually think of depression as a common symptom of aging but it is a serious condition.

Some Common symptoms of depression

  • Lack of confidence
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Low energy fatigue lack of sleep
  • A decrease in interest in former things
  • Difficulty in remembering details and difficulty concentrating
  • Pains cramping, headaches and stomach pains with no medical cause
  • Talk of suicide or a suicide attempt

If you notice the symptoms of depression it is important that this person know that you are available so they know that they are not alone talk to them about your concerns and offer to go with them to the doctor to get help.

WHAT CAUSES SENIOR MENTAL ILLNESS?

There’s no exact known cause of elderly mental health issues. However, experts believe that several things play a role in the prevalence of symptoms in seniors.

The elderly face significant decreases in income when they reach retirement age. They also often face health issues that cause them to become less independent than they once were. These lifestyle changes add up over time. Without proper support, they can quickly escalate to anxiety, depression, or other forms of mental illness.

TREATMENTS FOR SENIOR MENTAL ILLNESS

Regardless of when the issue is diagnosed, there are several treatments available to help the person. They include but not limited to:- Prescription medications Psychological interventions and therapies Exercise Support Groups

PSYCHOLOGICAL INTERVENTIONS AND Therapies

Psychological interventions and therapies allow the senior to regain control over his emotions and get back to the life he once enjoyed this happens by retraining the brain’s way of thinking

. Then, his thoughts won’t continue to spiral out of control. Those with anxiety might benefit from exposure therapy. This therapy involves a therapist gradually building up a patient’s ability to confront their fears by exposing them to their fears.

. This therapy usually combines stressful situations with stress-reducing methods to help balance fears This kind of therapy is called Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) it is a method of retraining thoughts and behaviors to be more productive. For example, a therapist may work with a patient to provide him with some new, useful skills. These skills help him feel accomplished, build his confidence and battle depression.

. PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS

Anti-anxiety and antidepressants are usually prescribed by doctors, these can help seniors by reducing the symptoms of the mental illness.

But, these medications can interfere with medications for other conditions. So, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons.

Studies show that medications can especially cause the patient to relapse again into depression.

EXERCISE

Studies show that those with moderate anxiety or depression symptoms benefit the most from consistent exercise. Additionally, regular exercise can help prevent further relapse, much like medications

Mild to moderate exercise can lift the mood of those suffering from mental illness. Just be sure to consult and have the approval of the doctor before any exercise regimen is undertaken and proper safety precautions are in place. .

SUPPORT GROUPS

Support groups can also make seniors feel more comfortable talking about their problems than doing so with a therapist or doctor

regularly attending a support group can help seniors feel included. They’re good places

to share their struggles, connect with others who understand and find resources.

In the group of seniors, 65 and older 12% say they don’t get enough social or emotional support and 6.5% of this same group say they experience frequent mental distress That means this age group is saying they are not getting enough support to deal with the stress they’re under.

Remember our seniors look out for all the tell-tale signs that indicate they that they are under stress and it is very important that they feel apart of a group and do not feel isolated and forgotten especially if their life partner is deceased

This is a mild easy exercise from Silver Sneakers Hope you enjoy it

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Posted by SilverSneakers on Monday, December 3, 2018

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