How to Recognize Mental Health Problems in the Elderly

how to recognize mental health problems in the elderly

Mental health issues like anxiety and depression are easy to overlook, especially among older adults in senior care. But unfortunately, seniors are commonly victims of mental health struggles and often go untreated. This can have severe side effects on both their body and mind, making it crucial to pick up on the signs of a mental health illness right away. Your senior deserves to live a life unencumbered by anxiety or depression, so make sure you are talking often with them about their feelings.

Watching out for these red flags can help you determine if your senior loved one is struggling with their mental health. Read through them below and learn to see the signs.

Loss of Appetite: A seniorโ€™s diet can change if they are struggling with mental health. They might not be eating the same amount as they normally do, and they could even be skipping meals. Take note of how much they eat during a meal.

Less Personal Hygiene: Watch and see if your senior is still performing basic tasks to keep themselves groomed, like brushing their teeth and taking showers. Neglect of hygiene is a common sign of a mental health issue.

Withdrawal from Socialization: What are your seniorโ€™s favorite activities? Are they still actively engaging in them? If your senior is becoming less involved in social activities and are withdrawn from family and friends, it may be a sign.

Mood Swings: Severe mood swings can be indicative of a mental health struggle. Seniors with anxiety or depression arenโ€™t sad all the time, but instead experience frequent and severe highs and lows.

Poor Sleeping Habits: While itโ€™s common for seniors to sleep more as they age, you should be sure that they are not sleeping too much or, conversely, too little. A good nightโ€™s rest is essential, so be sure your senior isnโ€™t waking up multiple times throughout the night.

If you would like further assistance to identify possible symptoms of a mental health illness in your senior, please call us today. Our caregivers at Caring Friends are for your family at any time and will help your senior loved one thrive in home care.