Mental Health and the Elderly

Mental health and the elderly

Part 1:

The role of the Care Giver may be to support and provide for the physical as well practical needs of our clients it is also important to be aware of their emotional and mental wellbeing.

Mental health problems are more common than we may think.

We look at the various types of mental health problems as well as the symptom’s which range from mild to severe.

Many of these problems can be treated often with something’s as simple as talk therapies or medication or a combination of both.

Many people recover from mental illness or keep the symptoms under control.

Today we will focus on Depression.


There are times every now and then when we all feel sad or ‘low’ or just seem to lose our motivation to do things.

When this lasts for 2 weeks or come’s back repeatedly and begins to affect a person’s life. It could mean you are suffering from depression.

People become depressed for various reasons, in some it’s triggered by a significant change in their lives such as but not limited to:-

  • Death
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Long-term illness
  • Loneliness
  • Loss of independence.

These are all possible causes, depression is thought to affect 1 in every 6 people at some point in their lives.

People suffering from depression might feel:-

  • Feel sad, low –spirited, hopeless, empty or without emotion for much of the time every day.
  • Lack energy, feel tired, and start doing less and less.
  • Irritable or impatient and become prone to crying.
  • They might become preoccupied, battle to concentrate, and difficult to make decisions.
  • Things that have previously brought them joy are no longer interesting.
  • Lack confidence, lack of self-esteem and are very negative.
  • Sleep patterns change, up early, no sleep oversleep.
  • Loss of appetite weight loss or gain is also symptoms.
  • Distancing them self’s from others.
  • Neglecting their appearance or neglect of surroundings.
  • Extreme cases may attempt self-harm.

How can we help:-

  • Acknowledging their feelings.
  • Take them seriously
  • Avoid things like “ Cheer up” or “ snap out of it”
  • Take time to listen.
  • Engage with your GP.
  • Keep them occupied with practical things to do.
  • Social contact is also important.
  • Encourage personal care.
  • Try doing activities or engaging in conversations that provide pleasure.

Take depression seriously know the symptoms look for the signs act in time and make the difference.