May marks National Mental Health Month. This is a month to educate yourself and raise awareness to mental health issues. You’ve likely been touched by mental health in some way, whether it’s a co-worker, friend, or family member. The elderly are not immune. Here are three of the top mental health concerns your mom or dad may face as they age.
Dementia, whether it’s Alzheimer’s disease or another form, is one of the most common mental health issues the elderly face. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that 47 million people in the world suffer from dementia. With dementia, the brain is affected by the disease and deteriorates. As the brain function decreases, it’s harder for your mom or dad to handle daily tasks. Memories slip, irritability often increases, and eventually around-the-clock home care is necessary.
Aging adults may become clinically depressed due to illness, grief following the death of a spouse, or loneliness. It’s important to make sure your parent has plenty of opportunities to socialize with friends, family members, and peers. If your work schedule makes it hard to transport your parents to clubs or senior centers, hire a home care professional to help with transportation and companionship.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), it’s only in more recent years that doctors have realized that anxiety disorder does not get better with age. Generalized anxiety disorder also affects the elderly. In fact, ADAA believes it is the most common anxiety issue facing aging adults.
Symptoms include a number of things that could be other health issues, so it’s important to talk to a doctor. Signs of anxiety include a rapid pulse, headaches, chest pain, numbness in the arms and legs, and dizziness. Generalized anxiety disorder may appear after your mom or dad falls and become afraid of falling again or being alone in the house. The presence of another person in the home, such as a home care professional, can help ease the fears.
Mental health is nothing to be embarrassed about or try to hide. Let your mom or dad age at home without worry or fear. A home care specialist works with you to create a schedule that suits your family’s needs. Whether that home care provider is there daily to keep your mom or dad company or comes once a week to take your parent to appointments, a home care provider is a great support system for an aging parent dealing with mental health issues.
If you or someone you know needs home care in Blaine, MN, contact Prairie River Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services for many fragile or senior members in the communities we serve. Call us at (888) 660-5772 for more information.