Talk to your primary care physician about local counseling services in your community. Many times, older adults are hesitant to seek professional help because of the costs involved. But a lot of insurance plans, including Medicare, cover a wide range of mental health services. As a caregiver or a loved one, one of the biggest ways you can help is to speak with your loved one’s primary care provider regarding your concerns.
Ask your loved one if you can accompany them to their appointments. That way you can be involved in finding solutions. If they are adamant on going alone, check in on them to ensure they are following through with their appointments and treatments.
A huge reason why mental illnesses slip through the cracks in older individuals is that they don’t speak up about it. That’s why it’s important to ask questions while being sensitive to their emotions and feelings.
Older people were raised during a time when it was normal to keep quiet about their thoughts and feelings. Be sure to respect their culture and values in the process. Additionally, look for signs of depression. A drastic change in mood, energy level, and behavior can signal a problem.
If you are an older individual suffering from a mental health illness, please speak up. The biggest thing to remember is that, regardless of age, we are all humans. None of us are perfect and we all need help sometimes. Don’t be afraid to ask for it. Your well-being depends on it, and we are all rooting for you.
The underdiagnosis in seniors is a trending topic that is being addressed more and more each day. The more awareness we spread, the sooner we can see change. Let’s help our seniors receive the care they deserve.