Common Causes of Stress in Older Adults
Some of the mental health concerns in older adults stem from the changes they experience in their life. Examples of these changes are:
- Caring for grandchildren
- Caring for a sick spouse
- New lifestyle and financial status after retiring
- Death of a loved one or friend
- Reduced ability to do things on their own due to a chronic illness or physical disability
- Not being able to live as independently as before
At times, older adults also worry about who will take care of them. They might feel anxious about depending on their children and other relatives when they feel that should be minding their own family.
Mental Health Warning Signs in Older Adults
Before you can establish healthy trauma coping skills in the elderly, you must first watch out for the following red flags. These red flags may indicate that your senior parent is having a mental health problem:
Isolation and Withdrawal
The importance of maintaining healthy social relationships doesn’t decrease with age. In fact, a lot of older adults enjoy being socially active. Hence, if you notice that your parent is withdrawing from social activities, they could be exhibiting an early sign of mental illness.
Abrupt Behavioral Changes
Experts explain that one of the hallmark signs of mental illness is sudden changes in behavior.
However, if you notice that a behavioral change happened after a particular event, don’t conclude right away that your parent is suffering from a mental health issue. For example, an elderly may really feel agitated after suffering an injury. They might also withdraw a little if they changed their living situation.
What you need to keep a close eye on is if these behavioral changes happen without an underlying cause.
Difficulty in Making Decisions
If you notice that your elder is being indecisive, they might require medical help. According to doctors, mental health illnesses may also manifest as indecisiveness. The reasons could vary, from not caring about the outcome to extensive worry about not making the right decision.