They are called our “golden years” for good reason; growing older brings with it a great deal of positive benefits, including greater wisdom, the freedom to experience life without having the responsibilities of a career and young family to raise, in addition to the ability to spend more time with family and friends and participate in activities we enjoy.
Nevertheless, it is not free from its share of concerns, too. Losing family members, recurring health problems, as well as the standard physical and cognitive changes inherent in growing older can result in anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues – in as many as one in five seniors, according to recent statistics reported by Nursing@Georgetown. That translates to as many as 7 million senior Americans living with depression – 60% of whom are not receiving treatment for the condition.
Left untreated, depression is exceedingly hazardous for senior loved ones. It is the leading risk factor for suicide, which has been continuously rising in the United States
To address the growing concerns surrounding senior citizens and mental health, At-Home Care Company recommends the following:
- Watch for warning signs. Look out for feelings of guilt, hopelessness, helplessness, pessimism, irritability, or worthlessness, loss of interest in enjoyable activities, modifications to eating or sleeping habits, fatigue, or struggles to concentrate and remember details, and particularly if there are any thoughts of suicide expressed.
- Consult with the senior’s physician as quickly as possible. Explain the signs you are noticing and arrange for a consultation for a physical and mental health assessment. The physician can assess if your loved one is experiencing depression or any other underlying condition that mimics depression, review medications for any potential side effects, and recommend an appropriate treatment plan.
- Most significantly, never ignore any suicidal thoughts or tendencies. A senior who mentions suicide as a way to relieve the pain he or she is going through should always be taken seriously, and prompt medical attention should always be sought. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can provide further, confidential advice: 800-273-8255.
At-Home Care Company’s professional in-home care services can help brighten everyday life for seniors in lots of ways. Our cheerful, compassionate care companions are always available to spend quality time with older adults, engaging in conversations, enjoyable outings, games, puzzles, hobbies, reminiscing, and more, according to each person’s specific interests.
Other ways we are able to help include:
- Planning and preparing delicious, healthy meals
- Providing medication reminders
- Motivating seniors to stay physically active through doctor-approved exercise plans
- And much more
Email or call At-Home Care Company, the leading Des Moines elder care provider, any time at (515) 292-2650 to let us know about the challenges your senior loved one is facing, and ask for a complimentary in-home consultation for more information regarding our central Iowa services.