Good mental health in later years

By 23/06/2024July 17th, 2024Advice
A picture showing a Bright Care carer with an elderly Bright Care customer. Both sitting down enjoying a cup of coffee.

As we age, maintaining good mental health is just as important as maintaining good physical health. In this blog post, we’ll explore common feelings experienced by older adults, how loved ones can offer support and when it’s important to seek professional help.

Understanding mental health in the elderly

Elder adults can face unique challenges as they age which can impact their overall wellbeing. These challenges can include feelings of loneliness, anxiety, depression and confusion. It’s important to recognise these feelings and understand that they are common and help is available.

Common feelings experienced by the elderly

  • Loneliness and Isolation: Many older adults feel lonely, especially if they live alone or have limited social interactions.
  • Anxiety: Concerns about health, finances, or the future can cause significant anxiety. This is a normal response but can be overwhelming without proper support.
  • Depression: It’s not uncommon for the elderly to experience depression. This can be triggered by the loss of a loved one, declining physical health, or major life changes.
  • Confusion and forgetfulness: Cognitive decline can lead to confusion and forgetfulness. While some memory loss is normal with ageing, significant changes should be addressed by a professional.
A photo showing a carer and a customer enjoying the outdoors.

How loved ones can offer support

Support from family and friends can make a significant difference in mental health in the elderly. Here are some ways loved ones can help:

1. Stay connected

Regular contact with family and friends can alleviate feelings of loneliness. Schedule regular visits, phone calls, or video chats to provide emotional support and maintain strong relationships.

2. Encourage social activities

Engaging in social activities can boost mental health in the elderly. Help your loved one find local clubs, classes, or community events where they can meet new people and stay active.

3. Promote physical activity

Encourage your loved one to stay physically active. Join them for walks, gardening, or light exercise classes. Physical activity can reduce anxiety and depression and improve overall wellbeing.

4. Support healthy eating

Assist your loved one in maintaining a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Proper nutrition is crucial for both physical and mental health.

 

When to seek professional help

While support from loved ones is invaluable, there are times when professional help is necessary. Here’s when to consider seeking help from elderly mental health services:

1. Persistent or severe symptoms

If your loved one experiences persistent or severe symptoms of depression, anxiety, or confusion, it’s important to seek professional help. These could be signs of a more serious underlying issue that requires medical attention.

2. Changes in behaviour

Significant changes in behaviour, such as withdrawing from social activities, drastic mood swings, or neglecting personal care, may indicate the need for professional support.

3. Cognitive decline

If your loved one shows signs of significant cognitive decline, such as frequent memory loss, confusion, or difficulty performing daily tasks, consult a healthcare professional. Early intervention can help manage conditions like dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

4. Difficulty coping with loss or change

Major life changes, such as the loss of a spouse or a move to a new living situation, can be particularly challenging. If your loved one is struggling to cope, professional counselling can provide valuable support.

 

At Bright Care, we know that you may not live close to your loved one and be able to see them regularly. You may have other work and family commitments that mean you can’t support your loved one the way you’d like. With our companionship care, we can support your loved one with regular visits of two hours or more. Our Care Assistants take time to develop deep relationships with their clients and look after both their physical and mental wellbeing.

Why choose Bright Care for your loved one

Our elder in-home care is designed to provide peace of mind for families who cannot always be there to care for their loved ones. Bright Care can support your family by providing tailored in-home care services that focus on bringing joy and purpose to those in their later years.

To find out more about the companionship style of elder care we offer, please call our team on 0330 024 1327 or get in touch via our contact form.

 

Why become a Bright Carer

Our exceptional Care Assistants receive a competitive salary and good benefits. If you are looking for a rewarding career in care, providing in-home care and companionship, please apply now.

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