Mental health is often regarded as a problem of the youth. However, the reality is that mental health problems can affect people of all ages. Seniors are especially vulnerable to mental health issues due to retirement, isolation, chronic health problems, and the death of loved ones. That’s why you need to be aware of mental health issues your senior family members may face. It is important to consult with mental health services in Adelaide whether your parents stay with you or alone.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), at least one in four persons over 60 has a mental illness, such as sadness, tension, or dementia. Predictions say that the number of senior citizens afflicted with mental diseases will double by 2030 due to population aging. Elderly people are more likely to have mental health issues, including isolation, melancholy and anxiety disorders, dementia, and madness In addition, many older people have sleep and behavioral problems due to physical diseases or surgical procedures.
According to research, seniors may profit from having social connections and close personal relationships, but disrupted emotional ties and loneliness may harm them.
Raising awareness about mental health among seniors is important for several reasons.
1. Mental illness is not a part of the aging process
Old age is a significant risk factor for mental illness. However, this does not imply that mental issues are an inevitable consequence of aging. Many elderly individuals experience the highs and lows of their life while remaining satisfied and cheerful. In contrast, others appear to have it all but exhibit the tell-tale markers of ill mental health.
Every senior is impacted differently by the vicissitudes of age. Therefore, caregivers and loved ones should be more empathetic and attentive to their elderly loved one’s emotions and problems.
2. Around 15% of seniors struggle with mental problems
The National Alliance on Mental Health records that approximately 20% of individuals aged 65 and older have a mental illness. Some even have two to three mental issues at the same time. Even worse, many older people endure in silence due to their mental health concerns not being addressed. Some of the major causes of mental health illness include:
- Loneliness and social isolation
- Chronic physical health problems
- Mobility issues
3. Suicide rates among seniors are alarmingly high
Suicide is a major problem among seniors. It is the 10th leading cause of death in America, with approximately 1,400 suicides occurring yearly. Suicide rates are highest among middle-aged adults and decrease as people get older. However, this does not mean that suicide is not a problem among the elderly. Suicide rates for individuals aged 85 years or older are three times higher than the general population.
4. Depression and Dementia are common among seniors
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, around 6.5% of individuals aged 65 and older suffer from this condition. Depression arises from several factors, including chronic health problems, isolation, and the death of loved ones. Dementia is another common mental health issue among seniors. This condition includes memory loss and cognitive decline. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, around 5.7 million Americans aged 65 and older have dementia.
5. Mental health problems can lead to physical health problems
Mental health problems can have a significant impact on physical health. For example, anxiety and depression lead to an increased risk of heart disease. Additionally, mental health issues can worsen chronic physical health problems, such as arthritis and diabetes. So, in case your senior family member is experiencing any slightest issue, it’s time to seek mental health services in Adelaide immediately.
6. Old Age Acts like a barrier to getting Mental Health services
Older adults may have a harder time accessing mental health services due to several factors, including the cost of care, transportation issues, and a lack of knowledge about available resources. Additionally, many older adults hesitate to seek help for mental health problems due to the stigma surrounding mental illness.
7. Early detection is key
It is important to catch mental health problems early to prevent them from worsening. If you suspect an elderly loved one is struggling with a mental health issue, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Several resources are available, including hotlines, support groups, and therapy.
8. Seniors need social and emotional support
In addition to professional help, seniors also need social and emotional support from their loved ones. This can be in the form of conversation, companionship, and assistance with activities of daily living. Additionally, it is important to create a supportive environment at home by minimizing stressors and promoting positive interactions.
9. Mental health problems are treatable
Although mental health problems can be difficult to deal with, they are treatable. A combination of medication, therapy, and lifestyle changes can help seniors manage their mental health issues and improve their quality of life.
Mental health problems may seem daunting, but there is hope. With proper treatment, seniors can live happy and fulfilling lives despite the challenges of their age. If you or an elderly loved one are struggling with a mental health problem, don’t hesitate to contact to mental health services in Adelaide.