Mental Health and the Elderly

They are called our “golden years” for good reason; growing older brings with it many advantages, including increased wisdom, the freedom to enjoy life minus the responsibilities of a career and young family to raise, as well as the ability to spend more time with loved ones and participating in pursuits we enjoy.

But it is not without its share of concerns, too. Losing family members, recurring medical ailments, and also the normal physical and cognitive changes inherent in growing older may lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues – in as many as one in five seniors, according to recent statistics reported by Nursing@Georgetown. That equates to approximately 7 million senior Americans living with depression – 60% of whom are not getting treatment for the condition.

Left untreated, depression is very dangerous for older adults. It’s the leading risk factor for suicide, which has been continuously increasing in the U.S.

To address the growing concerns around mental health and the elderly, Anthem Home Care, the leaders in home health in Corpus Christi and the surrounding areas, recommends the following:

  1. Watch for warning signs. Look out for feelings of guilt, hopelessness, helplessness, pessimism, irritability, or worthlessness, loss of interest in enjoyable activities, modifications to sleeping or eating habits, fatigue, or struggles to focus and remember details, and particularly if there are any thoughts of suicide conveyed.
  2. Consult with the older adult’s doctor as soon as possible. Explain the signs you’re noticing and arrange for a consultation for a physical and mental health assessment. The physician can assess if your senior loved one is experiencing depression or another underlying condition that mimics depression, review medications for any potential side effects, and recommend an appropriate plan for treatment.
  3. Most importantly, never ignore any suicidal thoughts or tendencies. A senior loved one who mentions suicide as a way to relieve the pain he or she is experiencing should always be taken seriously, and prompt medical assistance should be sought. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can provide further, confidential advice: 800-273-8255.

Anthem Home Care’s professional in-home care services can help brighten everyday life for seniors in a variety of ways. Our friendly, compassionate care companions are always available to spend quality time with senior loved ones, participating in conversations, enjoyable outings, games, puzzles, hobbies, reminiscing, and so much more, according to each person’s peculiar interests.

Other ways we are able to help include:

  • Planning and preparing delicious, healthy meals
  • Maintaining a tidy and organized home environment
  • Providing medication reminders
  • Motivating older adults to stay physically active through physician-approved exercise plans
  • And much more

Contact us online or give us a call any time at 361-643-2323 to let us know about the challenges your senior loved one is facing, and request a free in-home assessment for more information about home health in Corpus Christi and the surrounding communities.