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Caregiving How to Recognize Mental Health Problems in the Elderly

Often times, seniors in home care can experience mental illnesses like anxiety and depression. These are common illnesses seniors experience, but that does not mean that they can or should go untreated. If left untreated, they can have severe effects on a senior’s body and mind and hinder them of living a fulfilled senior life. Mental health issues are easy to overlook and can go unnoticed, so it is important to talk with your senior about their feelings often and watch for signs of anxiety and depression.

There are several red flags to watch out for that can help you determine if your senior loved one is struggling with their mental health. Read on below.

Loss of Appetite: Diet changes are common among seniors struggling with their mental health, and they may not be eating as much as they used to. Watch for if you senior is skipping meals or eating very little.

Less Personal Hygiene: Is your senior still performing basic chores to keep themselves groomed, like showering and brushing their teeth? If they are neglecting taking care of themselves, it could be indicative of a mental health issue.

Withdrawal from Socialization: Think about your senior’s favorite activities to do. Are they still actively engaging in them? Are they still in frequent contact with family members and friends? If they are becoming more reclusive, this may be a sign.

Mood Swings: If your senior is experiencing anxiety or depression, don’t expect them to be sad or anxious all the time. Instead, watch for signs of severe high and low moods that change often and quickly.

Poor Sleeping Habits: Seniors do tend to sleep more in old age; however, you want to be watchful for too much sleep or not enough. A good night’s rest is essential, so make sure your loved one is not waking up often during the night.

For more help identifying potential signs of mental health problems in your senior, please reach out to our caregivers at HouseWorks. We are here for you any time and can help you look after your senior loved one in home care.