Diseases Mental

Symtoms Of Mental Health Problems in the Elderly


When people age and become elderly, not only are they dealing with the normal health issues that come with age, but many elderly suffer with mental issues and most do it silently. Part of the reason this happens is that they are becoming dependent on other to help care for them and they can start to feel useless. Sometimes it can be forgetting what they are talking about and somebody trying to finish their sentence for them. As frustrating as it is for you to deal with, it is even more frustrating to the elderly.


Mental of health issues that can plaque the elderly include dementia. This is where the elderly person can forget where they are going and what they were doing. Sometimes it only happens every now and then, and other times it can be an ongoing problem and they become very forgetful. This is often the first stage of Alzheimer’s that can get worse over time. This can become very dangerous for the person that is suffering from this disease and often they around the clock care so they do not get hurt or burn the house down. Another issue is that they can often get lost if they are left alone. The best thing to do in this case is have the elderly parent live with you. Often being around loved ones is the best choice for them. Another common mental of health that the elderly face is depression. This often happens when their eye sight starts to go bad, or when they are forgetful. It can also happen when people that they are friends with start to die. It can be very depressing to them and they often think about themselves being next. Small reassurances from you can go a long way in helping. If you find your elderly parent depressed, talk to them about it. Sometimes talking will help and so will spending time with them.


Anxiety over how their future is going can be another problem for elderly people. They are often unsure of how they will live if a spouse dies and wonder if the will end up on the streets. Their fears are very common and should not be dismissed or taken lightly. They are very real to the elderly. Another mental of health issue that the elderly has to do with them being put in the hospital. After a few days in the hospital some elderly have sundowners, which is irrational thoughts that start to take place once the sun goes down. The best way to explain this is imagine a child thinking that a monster is under there bed. You know that there is not, but have a hard time convincing the child this is true. The same happens with the elderly having mental of health problems. While we may think that it is irrational for them to behave like this, it is very real to them. Sundowners happen as the sun is going down and goes away in the morning. A mild sleeping pill given by the doctor can help the patient relax and sleep.

Tips and comments

Aging can be very scary because you do not know what the future holds for you. Many elderly are worried and might not be able to express it right. Do your best to be there for them and listen to them.

By Sally Vigil, published at 02/16/2012
   Rating: 4/5 (10 votes)
Symtoms Of Mental Health Problems in the Elderly. 4 of 5 based on 10 votes.


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