I have written several blogs recently about dementia. It is also important to be aware that there are other mental health issues associated with elder adults’ general well-being. Having been a psychiatric and hospice nurse in the past, I firmly believe that mental health is just as important as the physical. Sometimes elders’ mental problems are overlooked as just part of aging. We must remember that healthy aging does not include mental health issues.
An estimated 20% of people over 55 experience some level of mental health challenge. However, only less than 3% of elders report seeking professional help. In this blog I will talk about one area of concern an older adult may experience. The next blog will discuss depression.
There are a few types of anxiety that can be related to depression, medicines or other health issues.
- Panic disorder includes panic attacks and feelings of acute terror. These episodes can come time and time again without warning or reason.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder is a response to a traumatic event in the past. The person may have nightmares, flashbacks, lack of emotions or irritability.
- Obsessive compulsive disorder creates behaviors like counting unnecessarily, cleaning excessively, frequent hand-washing, or other routines that help to settle the mind.
- Phobia occurs when someone has severe fear over something that really cannot harm them. Phobias can include going outside, certain animals, heights, and flying.
- Generalized anxiety disorder is demonstrated when someone is constantly worrying about everything in their normal life.
It is really important for someone showing these kinds of behaviors to see their doctor for an assessment. Being cared for by a professional mental health practitioner can make all the difference in the world to their well-being.
Source: Mental Health America
Having nursing assistance like Catalina In-Home Services can be a real bonus and lifesaver when dealing with the beginnings of a mental health concern. Our nurses are experts at detecting the initial symptoms of some of the mental health issues our clients may exhibit. Also, our caregivers have intimate contact with your loved ones and will notice subtle changes in their client’s mental function. These caregivers are trained to contact our nurses for any such observation of changes. This way the client gets medical attention early on when symptoms may be able to be dealt with more easily and effectively.