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19 Apr 2019

Mental Health of Seniors: Changes that Come with Age

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Mental Health of Seniors: Changes that Come with Age

Do you have a loved one who’s struggling with the changes that come with age? We all know that as we get older, there comes a time when our physical health starts to decline. But what most people are never ready for is the mental health changes that are also associated with the natural process of ageing. So if you or a loved one is finding it difficult to cope with the impacts of ageing, it’s essential to get a clear understanding of what causes mental health decline in seniors and what you can do to help.

Depression

Many seniors have a hard time with losing their independence. Not being able to do all the things they once loved can be very difficult to cope with which can lead to feelings of isolation and depression. In fact, depression among seniors is quite common. Many seniors struggle with the loss of close friends and relatives, and can often feel alone, especially if they live by themselves. How do you spot depression in a loved one?  Look for signs of sadness, isolation, sleep problems, and changes in eating patterns. If you sense a loved one has depression, it’s important to talk to a counsellor to see how they can help.

Suffering from Dementia

Did you know that nearly 1 in every 3 seniors will develop dementia or a form of Alzheimer’s? Many people believe that dementia is part of the normal ageing process, but it is not. Typical signs of ageing include not being able to remember specific details that took place a long time ago or occasionally forgetting names or words. Dementia is different and often involves forgetting recent events or conversations, not recognizing family members names, and consistently using improper words.  If your loved one is showing signs of memory loss, concentration issues, and continuous forgetfulness, it’s important to talk to their doctor.

A Sense of Helplessness

Many seniors develop a sense of helplessness as they grow older. Since they can no longer work or attend regular activities or chores, they often feel like they are losing their ability to be independent and do things on their own. Some even feel as if they don’t serve a purpose any longer and consider themselves to be a burden on their family. If you sense any signs that your loved one may be giving up, you should make them feel appreciated by reminding them that they’re an important part of your life. This might also link to depression and mental health issues so consider a consultation with a counsellor.

Loneliness

Age brings many difficult changes that lead to a more solitary life. Their social circles shrink, people move away, and they can often spend a significant amount of time without any interaction from others. So it’s not uncommon for seniors to feel lonely. Physical changes such as hearing and vision loss can also make it difficult for seniors to communicate easily. If you or someone you know is suffering from loneliness, it’s important to get them help.

Our elderly need our love, support, and patience as they go through the difficult changes that come with age.  If you notice their mental health declining, it may be time to arrange for private home care. Someone who can help them through the physical struggles and provide the compassion and friendship they need to lead a more fulfilling life. If you’re ready to talk to a care professional, contact us at C-care Health Services – we can help!

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