As with all other demographics, mental health is a serious issue for seniors. When taking care of your parent, it’s important to understand that they might be susceptible to some specific mental health issues associated with aging. Having this understanding will make it much easier to arrange for the best ways to care for parents. These include choosing a quality senior living community that will feel comfortable for them, but which will also provide the support that they need. Some of the mental health issues that you should take seriously include:
More than 50 million people worldwide live with dementia, with the majority of these in middle and low income countries. However, 40% live in developed countries. It is projected that the total number of people living with dementia will increase to more than 80 million worldwide by 2030, and double that by 2050. This means that more likely than not, people will have to take care of parents with some degree of dementia. Some of the hallmarks of dementia include deterioration in mental function such as behavior, memory and thinking. This can affect the day-to-day life of a sufferer. Living in a community that provides support for these individuals is crucial to their quality of life.
Depression is a mental disorder that afflicts a large number of people in all age groups from young adults to seniors. Seniors with depression that is symptomatic tend to have poorer functioning compared to people with chronic conditions such as hypertension and diabetes. This makes it a serious mental issue that should never be disregarded. In seniors, it is easy to overlook depression since it may mimic some of the mental changes that occur with aging. This calls for a keen eye when taking care of your parent.
An aging parent can also have anxiety especially if they have insecurities regarding their environment and have a poor outlook on life. People who are predisposed to other conditions such as depression are most at risk for anxiety. Increasing the quality of life of an individual afflicted with anxiety involves reassurance, placing them in a wholesome environment and sometimes use of medication sporadically. However, most cases become easily managed by psychosocial care.
How to Confront Mental Issues
Despite what many people think, medication is not the most important aspect of managing these and more mental issues, though it can help. To ensure proper control, a wholistic approach has to be used in the care of such individuals. For instance, choosing a senior community that has the facilities needed to care for such individuals is important. Discovery Village at Southlake has a team dedicated to taking care of guests with these issues. It also offers an environment and activities which encourage positive living, including a generally happy atmosphere. Schedule a tour of our facilities to find out how your parent can benefit from our services.