Mental Illness and Your Elderly Loved One: What Should You Know?

Did you know that mental illness is quite common in the elderly? It isn’t something that only the younger generations experience. With that being said, sometimes, elderly people are better at hiding their emotions. If you are concerned that your elderly loved one might have a mental illness, there are some things that you should know, so you can give them the help that they need.


Home Care Services in Melrose MA: Senior Mental Illness
Home Care Services in Melrose MA: Senior Mental Illness


Causes of Mental Illness

There are many things that can cause your elderly loved one to have a mental illness. Some of these causes include the following:

  • Aging can cause your elderly loved one to feel depressed.
  • Your loved one might feel they have no purpose in life.
  • Your loved one might have friends and family members that have passed away recently.
  • Financial issues can cause your elderly loved one to have a mental illness.

These are just some of the causes of mental illness in the elderly. There are some symptoms of mental illness that you and caregivers can look for in your elderly loved one.

Symptoms of Mental Illness

Depending on the mental illness that your elderly loved one has, there might be different symptoms they are experiencing. With this being said, some of the symptoms that could be present include the following:

  • Mood swings
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Diet changes
  • Sleeping too much
  • Sleeping too little
  • Abusing alcohol or drugs
  • Severe anxiety
  • Rage and angry outbursts
  • Obsessive behaviors
  • Feeling suicidal

These are just some of the mental health symptoms that your elderly loved one might experience. Even though you or the caregivers recognize these symptoms in your elderly loved one, that doesn’t mean the doctors will instantly be able to give a diagnosis. There are many different mental illnesses that could be affecting your elderly loved one. However, you should still have your loved one see the doctor, attend therapy, or get other assistance to figure out what is going on and to manage it.


Mental illness can affect the elderly.
If you or caregivers notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, your elderly loved one could have a mental illness. If this is the case, there are many treatments available. Your elderly loved one can seek therapy, medications from their doctor, community resources, or more support from family and caregivers. No matter which treatments are tried, it is good to find a combination of things that will help your elderly loved one. If possible, it is also good to find the cause of the mental illness, as that can help with the treatment plan.


If you or an aging loved-one is considering a Home Care Services in Melrose, MA, please contact the caring staff at Visiting Nurse & Community Care today. (781) 643-6090