A difficult and heart wrenching issue: Mental Illness. We often feel helpless when confronted with this reality. How do we even begin to tackle this? First, let’s start with understanding what this is. Then we can examine mental illness in the elderly.
The Mayo Clinic defines mental illness as:
“Mental illness, also called mental health disorders, refers to a wide range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior. Examples of mental illness include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviors.”
Understandably, the elderly are prone to depression. They must deal with a lot of loss; loss of family, loss of friends, loss of physical vitality, loss of earning power. As such, I have written about this topic with particular empathy.
On the other side of the equation, caregivers and the associated inner circle of the elderly have their formidable challenges as well. There is a real problem of caregiver stress and anxiety that I have also addressed over the years.
A good support system by professionals and loved ones is key to combatting mental illness in the elderly. During this week, it is worthwhile to learn more about these issues so that we can make sure both the one who is cared for and the caregiver are as happy as possible.
Here is the link to our Newsletter Blog Digest. Most important, this information should help you understand the issues and enable you to set up the very best care team for your loved one.
Also, be sure to check out our handy whitepapers on this important topic.
Always here to help!
Anita Kamiel, R.N., M.P.S.
Director of Patient Services