Mental wellness can become a challenge at any point in your life. However, as one ages there are several issues that can negatively impact one’s mental well-being. If you are a caregiver, you should be on the lookout for mental signs of mental distress among your elderly clients and loved ones.
In this article, we will discuss the signs of mental health problems in the elderly as well as what can be done about them.
Signs you can look for as a Caregiver
When it comes to mental health, it can be tough for some elders to express changes. It will be important that caregivers are able to look out for personality changes in the elderly as these will be the biggest indicator that something may be wrong.
These personality changes could manifest as a short-temper, frustration, or being quieter than usual.
What Can Cause Mental Health Challenges as we Age?
Just like at any other time in your life, stress, depression, and anxiety can be a problem as one ages. Mental distress can be brought about by personal circumstances like financial worries, changes in medication, declining health, or a major change in life circumstances.
Often, mental health challenges can be brought on by loneliness. As people age, there can be a tendency to see friends, family, and partners of their own age group pass away. This can be a distressing and lonely time as one may see individuals; they are close to pass away over a short space of time.
If your loved one or client has lost someone that they are close to recently, pay attention for signs that they may be grieving. As unprocessed grief can negatively impact one’s mental well-being.
What Can you do to Support an Elder’s Mental Well-being?
If you care for a loved one or client and you notice that he or she is experiencing changes in their mental well-being, then you will no doubt want to provide them with the best possible care and support. What can you do?
One way that you can provide support is to be a listening ear. If you are caring for a family member you may want to speak with other family members to make sure that everyone rallies together to give your loved one support. Time spent with friends and family can be exactly what is needed to help your loved one raise their spirits.
Loneliness can be tough, so it is important that you encourage your loved one or client to engage in social activities. You might consider locating informal online groups they can join to make new friends and meet up with old ones.
If your loved one or client is feeling isolated, lonely, or as though he or she is losing a sense of self, it is important that you spend some time encouraging him or her to share their history stories about their life. You might also encourage him or her to engage with their old passions and interests. Play music that they used to enjoy and find films that he or she finds enjoyable.