Unfortunately, older people suffer from mental health problems much more often than younger ones. What is more, there are numerous mental diseases that pose threats to older people primarily. So let’s look more precisely at those pathologies and understand how to cope with them successfully.
Typical mental health issues for those over 65+ years old
As people get older, the condition of their nervous system and brain worsens. As a result, all nerve functions (primarily cognitive) slowly begin to slow down and deteriorate. Unfortunately, it’s a part of the natural process of aging, and there’s not much we can do about it.
But in some cases, due to peculiarities of each person’s nervous system, different diseases develop due to old age. Two primary conditions affect older people as a result of the ageing process:
- Senile depression
- Senile dementia
Both diseases significantly decrease the quality of life and might potentially lead to an early death. So, let’s take a closer look at those conditions.
Senile depression usually develops due to a combination of factors. First of all, it is related to a high level of negative emotions and stress, which, unfortunately, is common for aging people. And secondly, after a certain age, the brain stops producing the required amount of serotonin and other neurotransmitters. As a result, senile depression occurs.
This disease is very dangerous due to severe mood decreases. It is also one of the main reasons for suicides among older people. Other symptoms include apathy, lack of working efficiency, appetite decrease, and trouble with sleeping.
This condition has a much more complicated mechanism of development than depression. Modern scientists mention that the development of this disease is related to at least ten different factors and probably even more. As a result, it is almost impossible to cure dementia.
The symptoms include a significant lack of memory (mostly long-term), a vast decrease in cognitive functions, and hebephrenic behaviour (adults acting like a child) among others. In addition, since patients usually can’t take adequate care of themselves, this disease requires the constant help of a caregiver or even a nurse.
How to cope with those pathologies
Senile depressions are hard to get rid of completely. And senile dementia might only be slowed down but not cured. Both pathologies require a nurses’ assistance, doctors’ services, and sometimes even hospitalisation. A Medicare plan will help to cover at least some parts of medical and treatment expenses. Make sure you understand your needs before selecting a plan that is right for you. You can be proactive and find more info about Medicare on specialized portals such as Hella Health.
Still, various research and studies show that regular cognitive practice (reading, having a good conversation, playing music, etc.) can prevent or slow down the development of both diseases. So, train your brain to avoid any mental health issues in adult age.
Ellen Diamond did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.