Mental illness is common, yet the most ignored problem spread across a major chunk of the elderly population in Canada. The potential triggers are usually alcohol or substance abuse, medication interactions, poor diet, permanent physical disability, chronic illness, or loss of a loved one.
Unfortunately, all these symptoms and similar more are confused as normal signs of aging but are actually of mental illness. Due to that, the circumstances take a toll on your loved ones’ emotional and physical health for long before the problem is diagnosed.
We all have to understand that mental illness is by no means a natural part of aging. It is just that seniors are less likely to seek help and often go on with their life. The situations are seen getting worst only when anxiety disorders, OCD, or phobias pop up.
So, the family members and caregivers must educate themselves regarding these early signs of mental health problems to make the detection easier and take the desired course of action well ahead of time –
There can be a little forgetfulness in older adults, but nothing that is very advanced. Misplacing belongings, repeatedly asking for the same information or not remembering important dates, can be a warning for Alzheimer’s and Dementia on the way. Hence, be watchful over these behaviors.
Even the smallest kind of mental disorder can decrease the patient’s interest in family conversations and community or social interactions. Surprisingly, their intent to avoid people is something that they don’t even realize. They just unintentionally act unfamiliar with everyone around.
While mood swings are a part of every human undergoing physical or mental change, anything that is too extreme or abrupt is something to be worried about. Your grandparents going from a carefree personality to a super anxious one, joyful to depressed or confident to fearful in a matter of a few days or weeks only is surely a red signal.
Many scientists have linked weight issues with dementia and mental illness, especially in older people. A sudden increase or decrease in the appetite has been seen in people developing anxiety, depression, and loneliness.
This particularly applies to all those household chores and activities that your elderly parent once enjoyed and fulfilled to perfection. It can be anything from washing dishes every night to making the bed in the morning. If you see him/her neglecting those everyday tasks, it is probably high time you give them proper attention and arrange for the treatment.
Often, it has been observed that people with mental illness don’t pay attention to their routine, specifically related to their general hygiene and personal appearance. The dressing style can look extra shabby, and the patients may skip daily baths and grooming tasks that were once their standard practices.
You can suddenly find your grandma becoming greedy or possessive over the things she owns. You may even find her collecting unwanted stuff and disagreeing on throwing away the old items. This can be one of the tell-tale signs as the person wants to have things that have no space to store.
If you are living with a senior who is exhibiting the same symptoms as mentioned, schedule an appointment with a professional. Once, their treatment starts, you can hire our home care services to look over them and give them the personal care they need.