Many seniors struggle with mental health issues along with age-related conditions. Aging comes with many stressors that can affect emotional and behavioral health. Fortunately, many senior living communities understand this and provide care for individuals suffering from one or more of the following conditions.
People of all ages may experience anxiety. In fact, the anxious feeling that a person experiences can help them handle problems and new situations. They may even avoid danger because of this anxiety. However, for some individuals, this anxiety interferes with normal life and their relationships. Individuals suffering from one or more mental health conditions may benefit from a memory care community.
Up to 20 percent of seniors today suffer from anxiety, although many people go undiagnosed. Phobia remains the most common type of anxiety in older individuals. Among women, anxiety serves as the most commonly diagnosed mental health condition. For men, it comes in second behind substance abuse.
Sadly, many seniors never receive a diagnosis of anxiety. They overlook their symptoms or blame them on something else. For those who know they suffer from anxiety, they may do so in silence. They assume the feelings are normal because they have experienced them for years. However, left untreated, this anxiety may lead to disability, poor quality of life, cognitive impairment, and failing physical health. Fortunately, treatments are available today, so a person should speak to their doctor to find the right treatment.
Assisted living may help older men and women suffering from depression. This serious mood disorder affects individuals of all ages and affects their thinking, feelings, and behavior. While many seniors suffer from depression, it isn’t a normal part of the aging process. Actually, older individuals often express more satisfaction with their lives than those who are younger.
People who have Alzheimer’s disease or another type of dementia remain more at risk of depression. Certain people learn they have dementia after seeing a doctor for depression, and men and women might attempt to commit suicide because of this condition. Seniors suffering from depression need support systems in place, and many senior living communities provide this support.
Isolation and Loneliness
Isolation and loneliness in seniors remain concerns. Individuals suffering from either condition are more at risk of a range of health conditions, including obesity, cognitive decline, depression, and high blood pressure. Isolation refers to the physical separation of individuals, such as seniors who live alone. Loneliness, in contrast, is a feeling of being alone or separated, and a person might feel lonely when surrounded by others.
Men and women who live alone while suffering from a cognitive impairment face unique challenges. The move to a senior living community can help overcome many of these challenges, and families should consider this option for any older senior who may feel isolated or lonely.
Some seniors remain prone to panic attacks. This feeling of terror overtakes them, and they experience a variety of symptoms. Some people find their heart pounds and they suffer from chest pain. Faintness and dizziness may come with a panic attack, and the person may feel sweaty or weak. Certain people find they become nauseous when they have a panic attack.
Many people don’t realize panic attacks can occur at any time, even when a person is sleeping. The attack often peaks within ten minutes, but the person may have symptoms for an extended period after the attack.
While panic disorders remain rare in seniors, this doesn’t comfort those men and women who struggle with this condition. They may not want to be left alone because the symptoms mimic those of a stroke or heart attack. A senior living community ensures these individuals have help when they have one of these attacks.
Grief and Loss
Grief and loss impact both sexes. However, senior women remain more prone to problems following the loss of a loved one. They are more likely to experience symptoms of depression, sleep disturbances, and more. Their quality of life and life satisfaction decline following a loss as well. This doesn’t mean men can’t experience similar problems. They just do so at a lower rate.
When professionals work to identify individuals struggling with grief and loss, they need to consider the time that has passed since losing the loved one, how many losses this person has experienced, and the level of social support. When senior community staff members evaluate individuals for symptoms associated with grief and loss, they should pay close attention to those who lack social support and those who have lost someone close to them.
However, symptoms of grief and loss extend beyond those who have lost a close loved one. Retirement can lead to feelings of grief and loss, as can an empty nest or the loss of health. For this reason, every resident must be monitored for symptoms of grief and loss, not simply those who have lost one or more loved ones.
Mental Health Help
When choosing a senior living community, families should ask about mental health help within the community. The community should address the needs of each resident and promote independence and dignity while drawing on the resident’s strengths. Structured therapeutic programs benefit these men and women and empower them to function at the highest level achievable.
Each resident needs a thorough evaluation to learn which services they need. The individual’s well-being must be the top concern, and amenities and activities within the community need to focus on this.
Seniors need specialized care and comprehensive support for mental health issues around the clock. A team of trained individuals should provide this care in a therapeutic environment and provide counseling for residents and their families. Mental health issues don’t disappear as a person ages, and a senior living community must recognize this and provide care for residents suffering from one or more of these conditions. This ensures each senior has the highest quality of life during their elder years.
About Chelsea Senior Living:
Chelsea Senior Living remains committed to providing residents with a comfortable, safe, and secure home, as the community has done for over 30 years. Residents receive help with daily living activities in a caring atmosphere, and all residents are treated with respect and dignity. Seniors living in the community benefit from personalized support and integrated care, so they can thrive.