Mental health is essential for people to be successful in living a long, happy and fulfilled life. When focusing on the well-being of our older population we usually focus on the deteriorating physical health that often coincides with the aging process but mental health is just as important as water, food and air!
As the brain ages, neuron receptors get weaker, and in turn, it takes longer to process information. This is natural and normal but it can often take a toll on mental health.
Depression is the most common mental health concern for older people, but there are numerous other mental ailments that seniors are especially susceptible to. Keep an eye on a couple key indicators to establish your loved ones are maintaining ample mental health:
- Confusion or disorientation, problems concentrating or lack of focus can be a symptom of mental health deterioration.
- Lack of hygiene, wearing dirty clothes or not properly washing.
- Changes in weight, decrease or increase in appetite.
- Alcohol or substance abuse, keep an eye on their prescription medications.
- Survivors guilt, common among people who outlive their spouse.
- Unexplained energy loss, fatigue.
- Social withdrawal
These are all simple but important indicators of someone’s mental health slipping. Maintaining compassion and patience while monitoring key aspects of your loved ones behaviour will ensure they stay mentally healthy!