These days, more elderly adults are aging in place. They are confident about their ability to take care of themselves. They want to retain their freedom and sense of independence despite their old age. A home is also a lot more comfortable and offers a sense of security that no senior homes can provide. It is also often cheaper to stay in one’s own home than renting a space in a senior home.
They get to enjoy a familiar setting at home, enjoy their own privacy, and maintain old routines. When seniors are happy and content in where they live, they get to enjoy better health and peace of mind. But this is also one of the reasons why there is a growing mental health crisis among seniors.
Mental Health Crisis in Adults
Aging in place offers numerous benefits. This makes them more at risk of developing anxiety, depression, and even low self-esteem.
Depression is common in seniors. According to a recent study, one in four adults has anxiety and depression mid-pandemic. But even before the crisis broke out, many seniors are already battling a mental health crisis.
Elderly adults can be depressed due to many things. For one, stressful life events such as the death of a loved one, a financial crisis, and their physical conditions can cause them to feel depressed. Even their medications, family history, and the fact that they are living alone can put them at risk for depression.
Self-esteem is crucial for mental health. But after 60, one’s self-esteem starts to decline. This can impact their beliefs, how they view their own appearance, how they feel about themselves, and how they react to certain situations.
A person’s mental health can influence how he thinks, acts, and feel. It can have a direct impact on how one handles stress, make decisions, and relate to other people. It can even affect one’s overall health and wellness.
If we don’t help our elderly win over their mental health crisis, they can end up spending their remaining years feeling depressed and anxious. They won’t be able to make the most out of life because they are too conscious about their appearance. They might no longer feel like taking care of themselves and their health will gradually deteriorate.
Helping a Senior Loved One Fight Mental Health Issues and Anxiety
There is no easy way to instantly change how your senior loved one feels, sees himself, and influence positive feelings. But there are things you can start doing to help them gracefully age in place.
You can start by taking them to your trusted dentist. You can motivate them to get their remaining teeth checked, maintain oral health, and retain their beautiful smile. This helps them regain that much-needed confidence while you enjoy your Invisalign treatment to fix your teeth.
Don’t forget to encourage them to take great care of their health. Drive to their doctor’s appointment and take note of his doctor’s advice. Find ways to ensure they get to drink their medications on time and volunteer to run some errands for them or with them.
It is a good idea to ask for their advice when you have problems. This will give them a sense of purpose, thus boosting their confidence at the same time. You can also consider getting them a pet that you know they can still handle.
You may not have a big budget, but ask their permission so you can modify their home. Usually, regular houses are not senior-friendly. Improving their home with their comfort and convenience in mind will make it easier for them to live solo.
Keep in touch as often as you can. Even if you don’t have time to visit them every single day, make sure to find other ways to communicate. Even a simple phone call can be enough to ease their boredom and reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and depression.
If you have a senior loved one, make it a point to check them as often as you can. For all you know, he is already suffering from little self-esteem, experiencing depression, and is now anxious and depressed. Show your senior loved one that you care by being a great support.