As we close out May we join in Mental Health Awareness Month by focusing on mental health awareness for seniors. As a senior, taking a proactive approach to your mental health can make the difference between aging or aging well.
Mental Health Awareness for Seniors
There are some areas that are specific to seniors and aging. Here are some tips and facts about aging.
- Age – Mental health is important at every point of our life, including our senior years. Unfortunately many people think that by the time we’ve become seniors we shouldn’t need any “help” with mental issues; the truth is that as long as you have a working mind, keeping that mind healthy and working is important.
- Seniors who Suffer with Mental Disorders – Approximately 15% of seniors have some type of mental disorder, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Common Mental Health Disorders in Seniors – 20% of seniors aged 60+ are affected with mental & neurological disorders that affect their quality of life. The most common disorders include:
- Anxiety Disorders – 3.8% of the older population is affected by anxiety disorders
- Substance Disorders – 1% of the senior population knowingly deals with substance abuse
- Self Harm – 25% of all deaths due to self harm are from the senior population
- Dementia – Dementia is a situation where there is deterioration of the mind itself and a physical change in the brain. Dementia is not a typical part of aging, yet worldwide it is estimated that 47.5 million people are living with dementia and those numbers will be rising substantially within the next 10-15 years.
- Depression – Unipolar depression (major depression) is very common among seniors and causes interference in everyday life tasks. Seeking help for any type of depression is the first step to enjoying your life as you age. There are a number of reasons why as we age we become severely depressed, including:
- Medications – Medication can sometimes increase the likelihood of depression
- Lack of Socialization – Changes in your physical condition, loss of close friends, and more can cause you to remove yourself from socialization as you age
- Loneliness – Loss of a spouse or partner, death of friends as we age can result in a feeling of loneliness. A professional caregiver can help you feel less lonely and become more active even if they come for a few short hours each day or a couple times a week.
Promoting Positive Mental Health
Contact us to learn more about how we can help you take a proactive approach in feeling better mentally.
- Freedom – find a way to get out and enjoy the world
- Community Programs – partake in Senior programs that instill socialization, activities and enjoying life
- Solutions – find solutions to some of the issues that may come with aging; such as limited mobility, physical limitations, limited income, and more
It’s important to understand that bringing mental health awareness for seniors to the forefront is important to living a full life as you age and Accredited Home Care can provide services that will help you enjoy life.
WHO Media Centre – Fact Sheets
Mental Health American Net – Mental Health Awareness 2016