AHCA Questions Regarding Mental Health Rep Kennedy

In addition to the physical health conditions of people when they are going through the natural aging process, mental health is also something to be concerned about. Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to seniors and their mental health.

Reasons For Mental Illness in Seniors

Some seniors already had mental illness as a younger adult, which then carried to their senior years. However, there are some other things that can cause a new mental health condition to develop at an older age. For example, if a senior has a major surgery or physical disability at an older age, this can cause feelings of anxiety or even depression. Long-term and chronic illnesses like heart disease, stroke, and cancer are known to cause some mental health conditions. The change in environment, such as moving to a senior living community, losing a loved one, or dealing with malnutrition can also lead to mental illnesses.

Symptoms Of  Mental Health Issues In Older Individuals

It is important to look for signs that you have a mental health condition, or that someone you know has one as a senior. If you ignore these signs and symptoms, it can lead to more serious consequences. Common signs of mental health disorders include any changes in the senior’s life, from not paying bills to not taking care of themselves, having major outbursts or behavioral changes, or failing to keep their house clean. Memory loss, feeling unworthy, having severe insomnia, and having a sad mood for more than a week or longer can also be signs of a mental health condition. Withdrawing from interests or people is common among seniors with Alzheimer’s or depression.

How To Deal With Parents Getting Older And Anxiety Issues In New Environment

Anxiety is common among older adults for quite a few reasons. You might start getting anxiety from suddenly living alone or being in a new environment, you might be concerned about your own health conditions or that of your loved ones, or you may develop panic attacks as a result of the aging process. If you are a senior adult with anxiety, seek help from a doctor. They can help you with cognitive behavioral therapy and prescribe medication if needed. For anxiety, things like eating right, reducing caffeine and alcohol, and getting regular exercise can also be very helpful.

Depression is another common mental health condition for seniors. If you or someone you know is an older adult with signs of depression, do not hesitate to get professional help. There is therapy and a variety of natural remedies to help with depression and this should never be ignored.

Having a pet can be a wonderful experience for anyone, but it is especially beneficial for seniors. Whether you are an older adult or are a caregiver for someone that is older, here are some reasons seniors should have pets in their home.

It Allows Them to Get Good Exercise

One of the primary reasons a senior should have a pet is because it helps them get good exercise. When you have a dog, they at least need to go out potty a few times a day and usually on at least 1-2 walks a day. Even if these are short walks, it provides the senior adult with a good amount of exercise. Any pet does goes a senior up and moving, whether they need to clean out a hamster’s cage, clean a cat’s litter box, or feed and water the ferret. Pets need regular care and attention, and that little bit of movement each day does wonders.

They Provide Companionship

Seniors who live alone often struggle with the loneliness they experience. Their spouse might no longer be living or they are divorced, and the kids and grandkids have moved out. Companionship is really important at every stage of life, but especially for older adults since they might not get out and socialize as much as they used to. With a pet at home, they have someone offering them unconditional love, who is always excited to see them, and who will provide loyal companionship every day.

Pets Offer Entertainment

There are many pets that are a lot of fun to have around when they play or just do their silly things each day. A senior might get a little bored at home alone and want entertainment that doesn’t involve the radio or television. Many pets love to play, so a senior can watch their dog play with balls and squeaky toys, watch as if the cat practically bounces off walls with excitement, and look at a hamster running on its wheel. Even birds and fish can provide some good entertainment.

They Reduce Stress, Anxiety, and Depression

In terms of senior health, mental health is a definite concern. With pets, they are getting more attention, love, and companionship, and in return, their mental health conditions can improve. Depression is often lessened by having a pet close by, especially in the case of cats and dogs who love and cuddle. Pets can also reduce stress by distracting their mind and offering more physical exercise.

Dealing with insomnia is a common issue with older adults. This might be from living an unhealthy lifestyle, not having a good mattress, or simply from having an improper routine on a daily basis. These tips are going to help seniors help reduce insomnia and get good rest each night.

Get Regular Exercise

Getting regular exercise is important for everyone, for many different reasons. With seniors, it helps them to reduce their risk for heart disease and stroke, keep their flexibility and strength up, and help reduce stress. It is also an excellent way to help battle insomnia. With a routine fitness program, you are tired enough in the evening to rest peacefully and get a good night’s sleep. You might want to switch to taking your daily walk in the afternoon so that shortly afterward, you take a shower and go to bed. You will be tired and more than ready for sleep.

Develop a Regular Nighttime Routine

Having a nighttime routine that is mostly similar each evening can also help with insomnia. With a bedtime routine, you are getting your body used to the same steps, which ultimately helps your mind and body to relax. This might include having a cup of tea with milk while reading a book in bed, having a relaxing bath, or listening to your favorite soft music shortly before bed. However, make sure no part of the night routine involves things that will get your brain going and become more energetic.

Stop Taking Naps

Naps are sometimes needed when you have a day filled with a lot of activity, but on the average day, you should try to avoid naps. You may find that you really want rest in the early afternoon, but try not to completely fall asleep for hours each day during your nap. This is likely just a few hours before bedtime, so you are really messing with your body’s ability to sleep at night at the appropriate time.

Keep the Bedroom Reserved Only For Sleep

A very bad habit to start is by watching television or using your computer or phone while in bed at night. This is going to keep your brain going and can make it hard to rest. All of these activities should preferably stay out of the bedroom, so that when you’re in bed, the only thing you reserve it for is sleep or intimate time with your significant other.

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