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Symptoms of Mental Illness in Senior Citizens

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Warning Signs to Watch for: from the Senior Healthcare Team at Home Instead

Last time you visited your parents. Did you notice anything out of place?The last time you visited your mother, did she appear well? Did you notice anything out of place? For example, did she look a little disheveled or was her usually tidy home in disarray? As people age, it is common to struggle with losing mobility or having the occasional memory lapse, but sometimes it is more than the effects of aging. It could be the onset of a mental illness like depression, dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 15% of adults over the age of 60 suffer from mental illness.

As a caregiver, you are vital in noticing if Mom or Dad’s emotional and mental health is changing. Being aware of changes in your parent’s behaviour gives you the upper hand in getting them the help they need. The senior care team at Home Instead Senior Care Hamilton helps keep an eye on your loved one when you are not able to do so. Our trained caregivers provide a variety of services that keep the aged in the comfort of their home for as long as possible.

6 Risk Factors that Affect a Senior’s Mental Health  
Growing older comes with much physical pain, which then becomes the focus of daily life. Many elderly people share their aches more readily with their doctor than they do psychiatric issues. Keep these potential triggers in mind as you care for your parent:

  • Medication Interactions: Older people take many more prescription drugs that can affect their cognitive and mental abilities.
  • Physical Illness: Problems with the thyroid or an adrenal disease may affect emotions, thought, or memory.
  • Loneliness: This can be general or from the death of a spouse.
  • Substance Abuse: This might be increased consumption of alcohol or an addiction to drugs.
  • Chronic Pain or Long-Term Illness: Think about chronic back pain, COPD, or cancer.
  • Physical Disability: It can be devastating to be physically active all your life and suddenly find you can no longer move like you used to.

10 Symptoms of Mental Illness to Look Out for in Your Senior 
If your loved one experiences any of the noted risk factors, pay particular attention to these symptoms that may indicate a mental illness:

  • Unkempt personal appearance and trouble with housekeeping and yard work
  • Problems with confusion, concentration, decision-making, or seeming disoriented
  • Extreme weight fluctuations from an increased or decreased appetite
  • Feelings of depression that last more than two weeks
  • The sense of worthlessness, helplessness, or suicidal thoughts
  • Short-term or recent memory loss
  • Aches and pains that cannot be explained
  • Withdrawing from social gatherings and friends
  • Problems with taking care of finances
  • Changes in sleep patterns, unexplained fatigue, or energy loss

Keep Your Mind Sharp and Active with Expert Senior Homecare
Keep your loved one safe with the extra support from the Home Instead Senior Care team. Our staff is highly trained to help you and your elderly family stay active socially and physically, as well as, mentally. We customize care plans that provide the level of attention your mom or dad needs.

Call us at (905) 521-5500 to schedule a no-obligation in-home consultation. Learn more about the compassionate, quality senior care services we deliver each day to families in our Hamilton area.


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