Mental Health and the Elderly – 12 Key Points
05.15.2021 - By Counselor Toolbox Podcast
- Normal aging is a gradual process that ushers in some physical decline, such as decreased sensory abilities (e.g., vision and hearing) and decreased pulmonary and immune function
- Decline in cognitive capacity with aging is partly preventable
- Older persons display flexibility in behavior and attitudes and the ability to grow intellectually and emotionally
- Losses with aging include Social status, self-esteem, physical capacities, death of friends and loved ones
- Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent mental health disorders in older adults
- There are many causes of cognitive impairment besides Alzheimers.
- Mild cognitive impairment is not unusual and generally does not meet accepted criteria for Alzheimers Schizophrenia in Late Life
- Focus on the person's strengths and how they can remain as independent as possible
- Encourage quality sleep, daily routines and proper nutrition
- Cognitive behavioral and problem solving therapies have both been found to be effective.
- Older persons clear medication from their system more slowly and are more susceptible to side effects of many medications.
- Day treatment/drop in centers are available throughout the country for respite care as well as to facilitate interaction and allow caregivers to work
- Caregivers often have their own emotional, financial and social needs that need to be addressed when caring for a parent or spouse.