Don’t Keep Mental Health Issues Silent – Top Mental Health Conditions the Elderly Face Every Day
The World Health Organization finds that about 15 percent of all men and women over the age of 59 have a mental health disorder. While many seniors are worried about their physical health, mental health disorders are also a concern.
Could your mom or had have a mental disorder? Here are three of the most common conditions affecting seniors.
Anxiety disorders make it hard to function. The anxiety comes without an explanation and can worsen over time. A person with an anxiety disorder may feel tired all the time, experience muscle tension, or have a hard time focusing on a task. One version of anxiety, known as panic attacks, strikes out of the blue and can cause a rapid heartbeat, hyperventilation, sweating, shaking, and chest and muscle pain.
If your mom or dad has anxiety, they may become scared to leave the home. They fear they’ll lose control in public. They may be afraid they’re having a heart attack or they’re dying. These are all common fears when an anxiety attack is happening.
In the CDC’s The Stage of Mental Health and Aging in America, it’s reported that 15.7 percent of seniors have dealt with depression at least once in their lifetime. As many as 7.7 percent report they are currently depressed. It’s common in elderly men and women whose spouse or significant other has passed away.
Symptoms of depression include feeling guilty or worthless. Depression may lead a person to sleep more and not have any interest in getting up or doing anything. Insomnia, appetite changes, and irritability are other symptoms. Therapy can help. Antidepressants are also a treatment for depression.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Experiences from being in a war, a car crash, or a physical attack are all reasons people deal with post-traumatic stress disorder. Some vets will be fine and suddenly have PTSD appear years or decades later. Vietnam Veterans of America found that about 11 percent of men experienced PTSD more than 40 years after serving in the Vietnam War.
When a mental health condition is present, your parent might have a hard time wanting to be social. Because loneliness impacts physical health, it’s important to make sure they have companionship. Caregivers are a good compromise. Your parent has someone to talk to without having to deal with a large group.
Enlist the help of a caregiver to get your mom or dad out of the house. The caregiver can start small and work up to group activities at senior centers.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elderly care in Millstone, NJ or the surrounding areas, please call Independence Home Care today at 609-208-1111 for more information