One out of every five older adults is impacted by some type of mental illness, and a third of those seniors remain undiagnosed and untreated. Reasons for this vary and include: the stigma associated with mental health concerns, the isolation that’s all too common with older adults, transportation difficulties, financial concerns, and more.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, providing the perfect opportunity to learn the signs to watch for that could indicate the need for an evaluation and treatment for the seniors in your life, and to help ensure that all seniors have access to the care they need. If you notice any of the following in an older adult, it’s important to relay the information to the senior’s physician:
- Excessive fatigue, depressed mood, sleeping too much or too little
- Withdrawal from socializing and enjoyable activities
- Changes in appetite and/or weight
- Disorientation, confusion, memory loss, difficulty with making decisions
- Decline in personal hygiene and/or the upkeep of the home
There are certain factors that contribute to an increased risk of mental illness in older adults to be aware of as well:
- Recent grief, illness, or other significant life event
- Alcoholism, abuse/overuse of other substances, medication side effects
- Nutritional deficiencies
Treatment is available and can make a tremendous difference in a senior’s quality of life. THE MEDICAL TEAM can also help those challenged by mental health concerns in a variety of ways: taking care of household chores, planning and preparing healthy meals, running errands, providing friendly companionship to enhance socialization, a full range of skilled nursing services, and so much more – all in the comfort of home.
Help the seniors you know remain well – physically and mentally. Serving New Orleans, Detroit, Austin, Dallas, and the metro DC area, contact THE MEDICAL TEAM’s in-home care professionals to learn more.