Mental disability among older adults exists, but we often dismiss this issue as a part of aging. How can you tell if your mom or dad is already suffering from a mental illness? And what should you do once he or she is diagnosed with it?
Of all the people ages 55 and above here in the United States, it has been found that 20% of these individuals experience a mental health concern. What is alarming, however, is the fact that in those numbers, 1 out of 3 elderly individuals have not received proper treatment.
RiteChoice Family Services, Inc. is a provider of Senior Home Care in Pennsylvania. Being the dedicated caregivers that we are, it is our goal to remedy the problem regarding mental disability among older adults, as well as the lack of the necessary care and treatment.
Because this month is the month of love, we would like to share with you 10 signs and symptoms of mental illness among the elderly.
Changes in appearance
You have known your mother or father ever since you were a little kid. When it comes to certain changes, you should be one of the many people who can easily spot these transformations in them and in their abode.
Are they still capable of taking care of themselves? Are both the garden and the house well-maintained? Are they well-dressed? Certain changes in behavior and appearance may be a warning sign of a declining mental health.
Changes in appetite
Whenever you notice a change in your senior’s weight, you know something is wrong. It may indicate that he or she is eating too much or is eating less than he or she is used to.
Whether it is an increase or a decrease in their appetite, you should not dismiss this case lightly. It could mean that the elderly is currently in peril about his or her current physical state. Other than that, it could also be a sign of a problem or disability of the older adult’s mind.
Old people are prone to confusion and disorientation in their environment. Is this case just a normal part of aging? Of course it is not.
Aside from confusion, did you notice anything in your elderly family member? Particularly in the way he or she makes decisions, or when they concentrate on a given problem? If this does apply to your senior, it may indicate that he or she could be suffering from a mental disability.
We all know that once you grow old, you will experience uncomfortable and frustrating things like forgetfulness. Though it is normal to forget where you put the keys, you should come in terms with the fact that memory loss is not normal.
Every passing minute, our brain is renewing its cells. This ability is possible no matter what your age is. That is why significant memory loss is not considered normal when it comes to aging.
Because of physical restraints and their inability to do the things they want to do, older adults sink into despair. Despite the clumsy smiles they give us when they fail at a task they were once good at, you can tell they are miserable.
This will lead to negative feelings such as feelings of worthlessness and helplessness. What is the reason for their existence if they cannot function the way they were supposed to?
Due to their illnesses, they need to rely on others, especially those who are way younger than them. It could hurt their ego and their sense of pride.
In other times, older adults feel guilty of the burden they are causing others. These situations happen all the time even though they are not causing burden towards their family members and caregivers.
Because of this, elderly individuals may think of inflicting harm on themselves, or even commit suicide. Such negative emotions and attempts should never be felt and thought of by these golden agers.