Some associate mental health with an issue young adults face. The truth is that mental health can affect anyone at any age. Seniors are at risk, too. Pay attention to your dad as he ages. These are mental health issues that you should watch for.
Four Common Mental Health Disorders Affecting the Elderly
Depression and anxiety are very common in the elderly. They may be tied to a chronic illness. They can also be linked to the death of a partner, spouse, or child, or physical changes like loss of mobility.
Depression is often overlooked because it manifests in different ways. If your dad is suffering from depression, he may no longer want to go out with friends or socialize. He may start sleeping more and refuse to participate in hobbies or activities he enjoyed. His appetite may change. He may become easily agitated and snap at you for no apparent reason.
Anxiety may see a senior struggling with sleep. They have a hard time falling asleep and if they wake, it’s hard to get back to sleep. Muscle tension, fatigue, and regularly feeling on edge or nervous are common. With social anxiety, your dad may become nervous in social situations and not want to attend events where there will be others around.
Bipolar disorder is often misdiagnosed in seniors. It’s easier to spot in younger adults, but seniors can become bipolar. It’s important to recognize the symptoms like agitation, unexplained irritation, and sudden mood swings.
Few people think of senior citizens as having eating disorders, but some develop them later in life. Anorexia and bulimia are two common ones. When an elderly man develops an eating disorder, it’s not typically linked to poor body image. It’s more about controlling some aspect of a life that seems out of control. It’s a way to handle extreme stress, changes to the health, or worsening mobility.
What Can You Do to Help?
If a mental health issue is impacting your dad’s daily life, there are ways to help. Start by talking to his doctor. You may need to push to get the referral for him to see a mental health counselor. Make sure he’s getting plenty of exercise and eating a healthy diet that avoids processed ingredients. You can also make sure he’s not alone all day, every day.
Senior care services include companionship. With a companion, your dad is able to go out and socialize and keep up appointments with his doctor and therapists. Call us today to learn more.
If you are considering senior care in North Syracuse, NY, for an aging loved one, please contact the caring staff at Serving Seniors, Inc. We specialize in offering services to the Senior Community in Syracuse and the surrounding area (Clay, Cicero, Liverpool, Baldwinsville, Central Square and others). Call us today! 315-382-4300.
Most seniors can live independent lives for quite some time with just minor assistance. Family and friends cannot always be there to help with daily tasks, but Serving Seniors can help fill the need for transportation, errands, housekeeping, and more. Just a few hours a week can enhance your senior’s independence, happiness and overall quality of life.
Joan assists concerned families seeking a trained caregiver who will treat their loved ones with dignity, respect and compassion. Serving Seniors provides the highest level in-home non-medical care and companionship. Families and seniors can be assured of friendly, personalized service from dedicated, compassionate caregivers.