Mental Health in the Elderly

Two of the most common late-in-life mental health conditions are depression and dementia.

“An estimated 5 million adults 65 and older currently have Alzheimer’s disease—about 11 percent of seniors.”With a diagnosis comes management and help, so if you or a loved on has been diagnosed, you are not alone!

If left untreated, depression in the elderly or with anyone can lead to suicide. Anxiety is also a prevalent mental health concern for the elderly, due to situations changing and fear of the future.

As a Caregiver or family member of a senior, it is important that we are aware of the signs of mental illness, and ready to help the elderly gems in our lives thrive even with these conditions.

Common Causes of Mental Illness

Here are a few potential triggers for mental illness in the elderly to help you recognize when to be on the look-out for a manifesting mental illness:

  • Physical disabilities
  • Medication interactions (when a Client/Loved One is on multiple medications)
  • Physical illnesses that might affect thought, memory, and emotion
  • Dementia-causing illness
  • Long-term illness
  • Illness or loss of a loved one
  • Transitions or change of environment
  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Poor diet


It is also helpful to be able to recognize the symptoms of mental illness in seniors:

  • Prolonged sad moods
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Any memory loss or problems
  • Loss of care in appearance or dressing oneself
  • Diet changes affecting weight (losing or gaining weight)
  • Inability to understand finances or simple math
  • Loss of interest in their usual hobbies or activities
  • Trouble concentrating, disorientation
  • Suicidal thoughts, thoughts of guilt and worthlessness
  • Unexplainable physical ailments

If your loved one, or a client of yours has shown any of these symptoms, call our office today: (570) 587-4700.

If you are having suicidal thoughts, get need immediate help with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Call: 1-800-273-8255



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