Mental illness in older people is becoming common day by day. However, not many (especially the younger crowd) are aware about mental disorders that could affect older adults.
Depression, anxiety, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder are some of the problems that could occur in older adults.
People over the age of 60-65 are more prone to these diseases and conditions.
As a person, being aware of the warning signs in the lockdown can help you detect symptoms of mental health during the corona virus in your loved and dear ones, even when they attain a ripe age.
Below-mentioned is 7 symptoms of psychological issues that aged people may suffer from:
1. Social Withdrawal
Elderly folks with psychological trouble often withdraw from their social circles. They prefer staying away from near and dear ones, or seldom interact with their friends and family members. They also lose interest in activities, which they used to enjoy & even avoid social gatherings and engagements.
This could be because of a mental health issue that makes it difficult for the person to interact with others.
2. Hyper Personal Care or a Lack of it
Senior citizens with mental health issues sometimes shift from their regular personal care routines. The change could be aptly noticeable, such as a change in hairstyle or overall appearance, the way of dressing, or a shift in timings of personal care activity, etc.
Or, the individual may show signs of skipping or forgoing personal care activities such as not shaving, not taking a bath, not changing clothes, etc.
All these changes coupled with visible psychological disturbance and shifts in other schedules can mean the person is suffering from some mental illness.
3. A Drastic Change in Eating Habits
Is the aged person showing a few important shifts in eating habits? If so, this could be a cause of concern.
Elderly people suffering from mental illness either start binging on food items or avoid eating altogether. They may suddenly skip meals for a day or two, or consume less quantity of food that too only after being insisted to, or they may get choosy about things they want to eat, and this could be a junk food item or caffeinated beverages, etc.
4. Depressive State
Signs of depression can be something as simple as change in general preferences of a person, such as preference to move by car than covering the stretch by a walk, avoiding waking up early or at a regular time and shifting to late hours of waking, getting hurt sentimentally easily, etc.
Sometimes, support at the right time can eliminate the beginning sign of depression, and stop the problem from aggravating further.
If you are on the west coast, get in touch with a San Diego psychiatrist to see how they can help you get back on track.
5. Memory Issues
If an elderly individual you know is showing signs of memory loss, do not put the blame on the ageing process alone, it could be something more serious like a mental health issue.
Depending on the depth of the situation, you may need to consult an expert & put the said person on medicines for mental improvements.
Certain things that indicate memory issues are missing out on things a person would never otherwise do, misplacing belongings, unable to recognize a person the elderly readily could recognize earlier, asking for the same information that as enquired about just a few moments ago, etc.
Momentary memory lapse is a huge indicator of memory problems, and this must be tackled immediately.
6. Unexplained Mood Swings
Have you noticed a significant change in how older people react to a particular situation?
For instance, the person previously could have handled a few things calmly, but currently gets pretty soon and is unable to keep calm in a similar circumstance.
The mood changes may recur frequently and last for a long time in some cases.
7. Hallucinations or delusions
If a senior recalls information that does not make sense or that ever occurred they may be undergoing hallucinations or delusions. These symptoms may be present as paranoia or as simple confusion
The aged population deserve the same care and respect as anyone else would of any age group.
Mental health care must also develop beyond home.
The community must also learn about psychological problems that senior citizens may encounter, so that long-term care can be dealt for older adults suffering from these problems.
You must keep contact details of professional caregivers and services in your area, so that it is easier to access help when necessary.