Approximately 20 percent of aging adults over the age of 55 experience some form of mental health issue. This means 1 in every 5 adults is suffering from such a condition or has at some point in their aging years. The most common of these mental health issues is depression. While described as a mood disorder, the impact of depression can be much more far-reaching than just your parent feeling sad or withdrawn. Depression can lead to social withdrawal, anxiety, loss of motivation, and even physical problems such as aches and pains and increased vulnerability to illness and infection. Regardless of what type of mental health challenge your aging parent is facing, getting support and care is essential to helping them cope with it and move forward.
May is Mental Health Month. This is the perfect time for you as a family caregiver to recognize the mental health struggles that your senior is facing and to encourage them to seek proper support and care.
Use these tips to help your parent seek support and care for their mental health concerns as they age in place:
- Eliminate the stigma. Particularly among older generations, there is still some resistance to talking about mental health issues and stigma associated with it. if your aging parent has these feelings or knows people who do, they might be hesitant to admit the struggles that they are facing or seek out help and support for them. Work to eliminate this stigma with your parent. Reassure them that there is nothing to be ashamed of when they are dealing with mental health issues and that they are common.
- Tell them about the options. There is often the perception that care and support for mental health issues means stark appointments with doctors and medication. Help your loved one to understand that there are many different options for care and support when it comes to mental health issues, and that they can work with their doctor to find the approach that is right for them.
- Be honest with them about your own difficulties. If you have struggled with any mental health difficulty, such as depression or anxiety, be honest with them about it. Tell them what you have dealt with and how you handled it. This can help them feel more comfortable about the situation and pursuing their own care.
Starting elderly care for your aging parent can be an exceptional way to help them to achieve and maintain a higher quality of life as they age in place. The highly personalized services of an elderly home care services provider ensure that your senior loved one will get the support, care, assistance, and encouragement that they need to not only manage their individual needs, challenges, and limitations, but also to pursue a lifestyle that is as active, independent, and fulfilling as possible throughout their later years. A big part of this is often the companionship that a care provider can offer. Establishing a customized schedule that is right for your parent’s specific needs as well as the care that you already provide them, this care provider can be there for your parent to offer conversation, company, and activities that will keep their mind sharp and their emotions higher. This can help them to avoid mental health decline or provide additional support as they work through their mental health issues, but also meet their basic needs so that they can maintain the best quality of life possible as they age.
If you or a senior family member are considering in-home elderly care in Wyckoff NJ, please contact the caring staff at Caring Solutions Home Care LLC. In-home senior care servicing Bergen & Passaic Counties. Call today (973) 427-3553.
I started my career as an ICU nurse over 30 years ago. I have functioned as an educator and preceptor mentoring new nurses in the clinical arena. I have sat on many Patient Care committees authoring a variety of patient care protocols.
In 2007, I saw an opportunity to improve the delivery of patient care services in the home and founded Caring Solutions Home Care. Over the last 10 years I have functioned as the Director of Nursing overseeing all client care, administrative and personnel operations.