Signs of Mental Illness in Your Senior Loved One

As your loved one grows older, you may become concerned about dementia. While this is a true concern, you also need to watch out for signs of mental illness. Many symptoms of dementia mimic symptoms of mental illness. Some of these signs often go unnoticed as they are considered normal parts of getting older.

If mental illness is not treated, it can have long-lasting effects on an elderly person. Remaining socially and physically active is important to a senior's mental health. This is why they should be kept engaged. Along with your visits, home health services can help provide that engagement by visiting with them several times a week, taking them on outings, and giving them an outlet. Still, you need to watch out for signs of mental decline. The following are some signs to look for:

They No Longer Show Interest in Social Activity

If your loved one no longer enjoys taking part in some of their favorite social activities, there may be some cause for concern. Occasional feelings of fatigue and subsequent absence from activities are fairly normal, but a complete lack of interest is not healthy. Social activity is quite important, especially for senior citizens. If your loved one is showing signs of self-isolation, it is time to talk to them about their mental health.

They Are Not Sleeping Normally

When people age, it is not uncommon for them to sleep more than they used to. They need to get adequate sleep each night for their overall health, but particularly for their mental health. If you learn that your loved one is not sleeping as much as they need to or they are getting up several times each night, it could be a symptom of mental illness.

They Do Not Eat

Your loved one may begin to eat less than they once did. Some appetite changes are a normal part of aging. If they stop eating enough food to get proper nutrition, it is a possible sign of mental illness. If they begin to skip meals or are not eating enough each day, you should be concerned. Your loved one's home health aide can keep an eye on this for you and let you know how much they are eating each time they see them.

They Are Not Performing Self Care

A serious sign of mental illness is the lack of self-care. Taking care of their hygiene is crucial for loved ones. Depression can get so bad that one can stop caring for their own daily care, including showering and brushing their hair. Your loved one should be willing and able to perform such tasks themselves. If they are unable to, it may be time to consider reaching out for further assistance.

For more information, reach out to a company such as Richard Health Systems