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Tips for Helping the Elderly Who Suffer from Mental Health Disorders

by Stacey Rossano on 5/1/14 12:51 PM

The best way to treat geriatric mental health disorders is by obtaining proper treatment. Through the knowledge and tools that licensed physicians have, many older people who suffer from mental health illnesses are able to lead normal lives. For family members and loved ones, as well as nurses and those helping to take care of the elderly, it is important to keep in mind that there are many tips for helping them get the most out life.

Dealing with Depressioncaregiver

The older a person gets, the higher the risk of developing depression. It is imperative that treatment be sought as soon as possible when depression is noticed. Some of the most common symptoms noticed in the elderly that directly relate to depression include:

  • Constantly saying "I'm not sad"
  • Staying agitated
  • Difficulty sleeping more than six hours a night
  • Difficulty sitting still for extended periods of time

Communication is key in being able to treat depression in the elderly, so loved ones, family members and even nurses should do their best to ensure positive conversations take place on a daily basis.

Dealing with Anxiety

Just the same as depression, many older people suffer from anxiety as well. Staying physically active is a great way to combat anxiety; however, medication is usually needed too. Sometimes, depending on the exact symptoms, a person may be able to take one type of medication that treats both depression and anxiety. If a person isn't suffering from depression, though, then only anxiety medication will be needed. The best way to start treatment for anxiety is to first undergo a mental health examination.

Maintaining Good Mental Health

There are four simple things that seniors can do to maintain good mental health, which include:

  • Eating healthy foods
  • Staying active
  • Getting involved in the community
  • Getting out in the sun

Truthfully, following these tips will go a long way in helping anybody maintain good mental health, regardless of their age. But, being that elderly people are more susceptible to mental health disorders, following these tips is very imperative for those who are 60 or older.

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