What Common Mental Disorders Occur in the Elderly?

What Are Some Common Mental Health Issues Seniors Face?

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According to the World Health Organization, nearly 15 percent of all seniors live with mental health disorders. When those types of disorders remain untreated, they can severely impact an individual’s physical health and overall quality of life. Here’s a quick glimpse at a few of the most common mental health disorders the elderly may face and some steps that can be taken to address those conditions. 

Depression

A fairly high percentage of older adults develop depression at some point over the years, and this disorder can quickly become debilitating. Some of the most common signs of clinical depression include social isolation, withdrawing from loved ones, and sudden changes in mood. If this condition remains untreated, it can greatly increase the risk of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. To treat depression, your senior loved one needs to speak with a therapist or psychologist who can address the root causes of the condition. Depression is often treated with a combination of therapy, lifestyle changes, and prescription medications.

Having the companionship of a compassionate caregiver may help a senior who’s been diagnosed with depression. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior home care. Colorado Springs, CO, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety disorders often remain untreated among the elderly because many older adults downplay psychological problems. However, chronic anxiety can lead to a myriad of other health problems, from high blood pressure to insomnia. While certain medications can minimize some of those symptoms, seniors must make some sweeping changes to their overall health if they want to overcome anxiety. Switching over to a healthy diet, exercising a few times a week, and staying socially engaged can all have a huge impact on a senior’s anxiety disorder. 

Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Colorado Springs, CO, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

Late-Onset Bipolar Disorder

As a senior grows older, his or her body might no longer be able to produce or regulate vital chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin. Various areas of the brain can also become damaged, and both of those issues could result in late-onset bipolar disorder. This condition is generally marked by sudden shifts in mood or personality. An individual who is usually sweet and empathetic might become irritable or aggressive in the blink of an eye. Bipolar disorder is almost always treated with multiple medications that regulate the production of certain hormones and chemicals. 

Eating Disorders

An older adult can develop an unhealthy relationship with food as time goes on, which could eventually evolve into a full-blown eating disorder. Keep a close eye on how much your loved one eats and the types of foods he or she focuses on. If you notice any changes in your loved one’s eating habits, speak with his or her primary doctor. An untreated eating disorder increases the risk of many different health complications, including nutritional deficiencies, sudden weight loss, and depression. The doctor will most likely recommend a therapist who specializes in eating disorders.

Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality home care services. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably. If you need professional home care for your loved one, our Care Managers are just a phone call away. Reach out to Home Care Assistance today at (719) 822-1229.

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