They are called our “golden years” for good reason; aging brings with it a variety of advantages, including increased wisdom, the freedom to experience life without the responsibilities of a career and young family to raise, together with the opportunity to spend more time with family members and participating in activities we enjoy.
Nevertheless, it’s not without its share of challenges too, of course. Losing family and friends, persistent health issues, and the natural physical and cognitive changes inherent in the aging process may result in anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions – in as many as one out of five seniors, according to recent statistics reported by Nursing@Georgetown. That translates to as many as 7 million senior Americans living with depression – 60% of whom are not receiving treatment for the condition.
Left untreated, depression is very dangerous for seniors. It’s the leading risk factor for suicide, which has been continuously rising in the U.S.
So, what can you do to help address mental health issues in seniors and ensure the wellbeing of the older adults you love?
- Watch out for warning signs. Look out for feelings of guilt, hopelessness, helplessness, pessimism, irritability, or worthlessness, lack of interest in enjoyable activities, modifications to sleeping or eating habits, exhaustion, or struggles to focus and remember details, and especially if there are any thoughts of suicide conveyed.
- Consult with the senior’s health care provider as soon as possible. Explain the signs you are observing and arrange for a consultation for a mental and physical health assessment. The doctor can determine if your loved one is experiencing depression or any other underlying condition that mimics depression, review medications for any possible side effects, and recommend an appropriate treatment plan.
- Most importantly, never ignore any suicidal thoughts or tendencies. A senior who brings up 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 offers further, confidential advice: 800-273-8255.
Morning Glory Home Care’s professional home health care in Alton, IL and the surrounding areas can help brighten everyday life for senior loved ones in a variety of ways. Our friendly, compassionate care companions are always available to spend quality time with seniors, engaging in conversations, enjoyable outings, games, puzzles, hobbies, reminiscing, and more, according to each person’s peculiar interests.
Other ways we are able to help include:
- Preparing healthy, delicious meals
- Maintaining a clean and organized home environment
- Providing medication reminders
- Motivating seniors to stay physically active through physician-approved exercise plans
- And much more
Email or give us a call any time at 618-667-8400 to let us know about the challenges your senior loved one is facing, and request a complimentary in-home consultation to learn more about our top-rated home health care in O’Fallon, IL and the surrounding communities.