Mental Health & Its Effect on Seniors

Mental health can be just as important as physical health. In fact, certain mental health conditions, if left untreated, could even slow the healing of physical ailments and conditions too. So, it’s crucial to stay informed and know the symptoms of someone living with a mental health condition—especially our older generations.

Why is senior mental health awareness so important?

Older adults experience many losses as they age. Some experience loss in critical senses (e.g., sight, hearing, ability to walk) while others may experience a decline in mental function like dementia, Alzheimer’s, etc. However, suffering from a mental health condition (like anxiety or depression) is not a normal part of the aging process. And if you or someone you love suffers from it, they may need professional help.

What are the symptoms of a mental health condition for seniors?

If you or a loved one experiences any of these symptoms, please seek help from a mental health professional.

    • Sadness that lasts longer than two weeks
    • Constant worries about issues like money, family, or health
    • Consistent issues with sleeping or concentrating
    • Problems remembering things or feeling confused in routine places
    • Drinking more than one alcoholic drink a day
    • Taking more medication that prescribed

What are some common misconceptions with mental health for seniors?

    1. Older adults cannot be helped to the same degree as younger people. This statement is completely false. With the right help, an older adult can live happy, healthy, and successful.
    2. The patient’s doctor would catch these issues during check-ups. Some primary care physicians fail to diagnosis depression nearly half the time. Plus, only 50% of seniors wish to discuss their mental health conditions in the first place.
    3. Suicide due to mental health-related conditions does not exist for seniors. This statement is false. Unfortunately, older adults have the highest suicide rate in the country. So, we need to be active in watching our older family members and friends.

How can I help myself or a loved one suffering from a mental health condition?

As one can imagine, every person handles their mental health condition differently. Older people, with changing hormones and body chemistry, experience it differently than a younger person. If you are noticing these signs, reach out to them and check in.

Encourage them to speak about what’s bothering them and ask if they would like to talk to someone about it. Sometimes helping solve even the most basic of problems, like an issue with transportation, can lower stress and the intensity of symptoms.

What services does Culbertson provide for mental health treatment?

Culbertson Clinics provide help for those suffering from a mental health condition. If you have questions on how to help yourself or a loved one, contact the expert staff at Culbertson Healthcare Providers for more information!