Mental Health Awareness: Spot The Common Signs in Seniors
While most seniors can continue a happy and healthy lifestyle, over 20% of people 55 years or older are likely to develop mental illness.
With a rapidly increasing number of older people in the global population, promoting, supporting, and educating senior caregivers in topics like mental health awareness is crucial to provide a dignified treatment. As well as ensure seniors with quality of life.
In this article, we will disclose the main signs for early recognition of mental health issues in the elderly.
Unfortunately, depression is often overlooked as an elderly mental health illness because its signs happen to be similar to other health issues in seniors.
Types of Depression
Overall, all types of depression include symptoms that hold back seniors from performing their daily activities . Such as eating, sleeping and focusing . As well as overall, to have a happy lifestyle.
The most common types of depression in seniors are the following:
- Major Depression: Patients experience severe symptoms.
- Minor Depression: Symptoms are not severe, and depressive episodes are shorter.
- Dysthymia: Symptoms are not severe but can last a long time (two years or more).
Signs of Depression
Not just a feeling of deep sadness, depression involves both emotional and physical symptoms, such as:
- Anxious or sad mood
- Lost of interest in daily activities or hobbies
- Fatigue, restlessness
- Pessimist, helplessness, or hopelessness feelings
- Easily irritable
- Lack of self-worth
- Change in appetite
- Sleep issues (insomnia, oversleeping)
- Difficulty focusing or decision-making
- Memory issues
- Suicidal attitude or attempts
- Physical pain including headaches, digestive problems, and cramps. As well as other physical pain from which cause is unclear or difficult to diagnose.
In older adults, anxiety can affect physical and emotional health. Which results in impacting their ability to do their daily activities.
Signs of Anxiety
There are different types of anxiety , including phobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. As well as a generalized anxiety disorder, among others .
The most common signs of anxiety are the following:
- Panic attacks that happen suddenly or repeatedly
- Physical pain including chest pain, shortness of breath, and digestive issues. As well as heart palpitations, fatigue, and trembling
- Fear of dying
- Having frequent but unwanted thoughts that they cannot control or get rid of
- Performing repetitive rituals such as hand washing or obsessive cleaning
- Having nightmares or flashbacks due to previously experiencing a traumatic event
- Emotional numbness
- Difficulty focusing
- Irrational phobia. For example, fear of thunderstorms, flying, driving, or bridges
- Worrying excessively about daily events or activities
This is a condition that affects cognitive functions. Such as thinking, reasoning and memory. As well as focus, problem-solving, and language skills.
Dementia varies according to its severity stage:
- Mild stage. It starts to affect a person’s ability to perform their daily activities.
- Severe Stage. The person is completely dependent on other people to take care of them. Therefore, they can no longer perform average daily activities.
Signs of Dementia
Some of the most common signs of dementia include the following:
- Difficulty focusing
- Memory loss (forgetting names, faces)
- Mood changes
- Struggling to perform daily activities that may involve simple planning or organization
- Difficulty maintaining a conversation
- Confusion and disorientation. Such as regarding the time and place where they are
- Repetitively asking questions
- Behavioral issues including anxiety, excessive withdrawal, irritability, and depression
A Better Solution in Home Care provides care according to each of our client’s needs. You can count on our highly trained and professional staff to ensure peace of mind and safety. As well as the quality of life to your loved ones. Reach out to us. We are here to help!