Mental health is not something to overlook.
According to the World Health Organization, 15 percent of the world’s population who are 60 or older have a mental health issue. Many of these seniors have had a mental health or neurological disorder for at least 17 percent of their life. Anxiety and depression are the most common mental health issues in seniors.
There’s no hiding from a mental health disorder. There are therapeutic programs and medications that can make them easier to handle. The earlier your parent gets treatment, the better it is.
Here are some of the things you should be looking for.
Signs of Anxiety
Everyone experiences anxiety, but some have a harder time with it. In some, the body triggers a fight or flight response that can mimic serious health issues. It creates a cycle of panic and anxiety that can make it difficult to leave the house or get out of bed. Some may become convinced they are dying or having a mental breakdown.
Some of the symptoms your parent may experience with anxiety include difficulty breathing, chest pain, a rapid heart rate, stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, and dizziness. If your parent experiences any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor. Many are also indicators of chronic health conditions like heart disease and high blood pressure.
If the doctor rules out any problems with the heart, ask to see a mental health specialist. Your parent can use medications or therapy that helps with the control and management of anxiety.
Signs of Depression
Depression is also common in seniors. Changes to finances after retirement, loss of a friend or spouse, and worsening health can all be factors leading to depression.
Common symptoms of depression include a change in appetite, agitation, lack of energy, refusal to go out with friends or family, and loss of interest in things the senior once loved. If you notice your parent experiencing symbols like these, contact a doctor. Again, medications and therapy sessions can help.
Help Your Mom or Dad Get the Necessary Help
If anxiety or depression is part of your parent’s life, you should make sure they do as their doctor recommends. They need to go to therapy sessions. They need to get prescriptions filled and take them as directed. They need to eat a healthy diet and exercise daily.
Make sure your parent stays on track. Elder care aides can remind your mom or dad when it’s time to take medications. They can encourage your parent to exercise. They can cook meals and join your parent for dinner. Companionship services may be one of the best ways to ease anxiety and depression.
Learn about companionship, meal preparation services, and medication reminders. Call an elder care agency now.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care in Johns Creek, GA, please call the caring staff at Always Care Nursing Service today.
Call for Assistance: (404) 266-8773 or (800) 989-7828
Administrator of 3 Florida (Always Care) Home Health Agencies for over Fourteen years.
Always Care of Georgia since 2001
Served as a 1st Lt. In the US Army