There is a lot of publicity these days about the growing number of people who suffer from dementia, due to brain disease or injury. However, there is another challenge that faces the elderly and their families; mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.
Why mental health needs to be in the spotlight
The need to find the right domestic care for people with mental health problems is just as important as tackling the more obvious forms of disability, such as those which require mobility support, hearing aids or assisted living devices.
Mental health problems are not an inevitable part of ageing. However, there are increasing numbers of older people who suffer from issues such as depression simply because the relative number of people over 60 is increasing. From 2015 to 2050, it's believed that the proportion of the world’s population aged over 60 years will almost double (12% to 22%). Add to this the fact that around 15% of adults who are aged 60 and over have a mental disorder, it shows the size of the issue.
It also indicates that if you or an elderly relative or friend is troubled with a mental condition, you are far from alone. It is certainly something homecare services UK wide have to take seriously.
Understanding mental health problems in the elderly
The triggers for mental health problems such as depression and anxiety can be similar at any age. However, in the elderly, there are other stressors too.
For example, they are more likely to have suffered a bereavement. They may also be frustrated and distressed by their physical health problems.
One of the key factors is believed to be an emotional response to the loss of independence.
How to help an elderly person with mental illness concerns
Finding the right level - and quality - of domestic care can be pivotal in helping someone in advancing years who has a mental health issue. The right home care provider for mental health issues in the elderly would be one with experience and skills, but also empathy and versatility.
Every individual is facing their own battles and has their own preferences and personality. A good home care service would be versatile and flexible, caring for the individual person, not the medical condition.
They would also work hard to develop home care that enables the elderly person to retain as much independence as possible. All of this would be provided in a friendly, warm and positive way. The support should be there, without being patronising or disruptive.