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How to Recognize Mental Health Problems in the Elderly


Seniors in home care can often experience mental health struggles such as anxiety and depression. Unfortunately, it is fairly common, but that does not mean that these issues can or should go untreated. If left untreated, mental health illnesses can have a severely negative impact on a senior’s overall health and wellbeing. It can be easy to overlook or miss the signs of mental health issues, so remaining vigilant and talking with your senior about their emotions frequently is important.


If you want to be able to determine if your senior loved one is struggling with a mental health issue, watch for any of these warning signs below. Knowing the signs can help stop an illness in its tracks.


Loss of Appetite: It is not uncommon for seniors who are struggling with mental health to experience changes in their diet. You may begin to notice that they are eating less or even skipping meals altogether.


Less Personal Hygiene: Take notice of if your senior is maintaining their personal hygiene. Are they still keeping up with some basic tasks like taking showers or brushing their teeth? Neglect of hygiene can be indicative of a greater issue.


Withdrawal from Socialization: Is your senior still actively engaging in their hobbies and interests? If your senior isn’t socializing like they used, and if they seem withdrawn or reclusive, then this could be a sign of a struggle.


Mood Swings: Seniors who are experiencing anxiety or depression should not be expected to be sad or anxious at all times. Instead, you should watch for signs like severe high and low moods that change frequently and often.


Poor Sleeping Habits: While seniors do tend to sleep more as they get older, you still want to be attentive to if they are sleeping too little or not enough. A good night’s rest should not be understated, so be sure your senior is not getting up often during the night.


For greater assistance in identifying prospective signs of mental health issues in your senior loved one, please contact our caregivers today at Extended Family. Our experts are here for you and your senior at any time and can restore your peace of mind for your loved one in senior care.

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Extended Family

1 Greenleaf Woods Drive, Suite 301

Portsmouth, NH 03801

(603) 430-6863  

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