Top 10 Things You Need to Know about Mental Health in Seniors
Mental health problems are most common among elderly adults over the age of 65. According to recent studies, one in five senior adults suffers from a mental health related problem. Home care provided by Home Care Assistance of Scottsdale presents ten facts you should know about mental health in seniors.
- Mental health matters as much as physical health – long-standing mental health problems can worsen physical health problems and reduce quality of life. Mental illness is also associated with a raised risk of mortality.
- Mental illness can appear late in life – mental illness can affect an individual even if they never previously exhibited signs of a mental condition. However, the risk of mental health problems is increased in individuals with a history of chronic illness or substance abuse.
- Certain symptoms call for professional help – when an elderly adult suffers from depression and anxiety for weeks at a time, has sleep problems, or is drinking or using prescription medications to excess, a healthcare professional should be contacted. For situations when around the clock monitoring and assistance is needed, many home care agencies provide full time, Scottsdale live-in caregivers who provide medication reminders, assistance with personal care, companionship and emotional support.
- Elderly adults often go without the help they need – physical health problems are mostly covered by Medicare, but mental health issues are only covered by half. Almost two-thirds of mentally ill elderly adults don’t get help.
- Mental health problems are different in the elderly – different social circumstances, older brain chemistry, and use of numerous medications call for unique approaches to mental illness. Seniors who require specialty assistance can receive help from a trained and professional Scottsdale caregiver.
- Mentally ill elderly adults are often misdiagnosed or under-diagnosed – half of elderly adults with depression are not diagnosed by primary care physicians. Estimates state that of all the mentally ill senior adults speak with doctors about their problems, only half get treated.
- Treatment is as effective for elderly patients as for younger ones – four out of five elderly adults recover from depression after receiving a combination of antidepressant medication and psychotherapy.
- Suicide rates are high among the elderly – elderly adults are five times more likely to be lethal compared to younger people. People over 85 are most likely to commit suicide followed by those between the ages of 75 and 84.
- Elderly adults can keep enjoying life – many senior adults continue enjoying exercise and social interaction, both of which are critical for maintaining mental health. Seniors who experience difficulty performing hobbies, household activities, or who no longer have the ability to drive can receive professional assistance from Scottsdale senior care. A compassionate caregiver assists with activities of daily living such as cooking or cleaning and can encourage seniors to be physically and socially active.
- Aging does not have to Include Mental Illness – elderly adults commonly experience the loss of family members and friends, but extended depression does not occur in all cases.