How to Recognize Mental Health Problems in the Elderly

Recognizing the signs of mental illnesses in those who are struggling with them is an essential part of watching out for your loved one in senior care. Sadly, mental illnesses all too often go unnoticed and are very easy to overlook. This is especially true when it comes to anxiety and depression, which seniors are much more prone to experiencing. While some signs of struggle are very apparent, many others are quite subtle and can be hard to recognize. Regardless, it is always a good idea to become familiar with the red flags to watch for so that you can identify if your senior is suffering from a mental health issue. Read through the items to look for so that you can get your senior treated quickly and help them get back to feeling better and normal.

Subtle Signs

Trouble with Sleeping. Catching the signs of poor sleep habits can be difficult because you are probably not watching your senior all night long. During the day, watch for how tired they are, which can be indicative of too much or too little sleep.

Loss of Appetite. Is your senior losing weight? Are they picking at their food or skipping meals altogether? These diet changes are often a sign of a mental health struggle.

More Withdrawn. If you notice your senior is becoming more withdrawn from previously enjoyed social activities, or if they aren’t communicating as often with family and friends, this could be a sign.

Overt Signs

Lack of Personal Hygiene. A telltale sign of a mental health struggle is if your senior is neglecting their personal hygiene. Watch out for major signs, like if your senior is not taking showers or brushing their teeth anymore.

Heavy Mood Swings. If your senior has a mental health issue, they likely won’t be sad all the time. Mood swings are more common and can result in high and low moods that change quickly and often.

Do you still need help determining if your senior needs help with their mental health? Don’t worry. Home Care Assistance of Carmel is here to help. Our caregivers are ready to help your senior loved one feel better and normal again. Reach out to and schedule your consultation.

How to Keep Seniors Safe During Severe Weather

During severe weather, which has been harsher and more frequent across the US over the last several years, seniors are a group that is particularly at risk. Hurricanes, wildfires, and tornadoes have been more rampant, and your senior should have a plan in place to get them to safety during an emergency. Below, you can read our tips for various natural disasters so you can move your senior to safety during the most severe weather.

Preparing for Hurricanes

Hurricanes can be especially intense along the southeast coast of the US, and seniors who live there should begin planning as soon as a hurricane is detected. They will first need to decide if they will evacuate or remain at home. If they evacuate, they will need safe transportation. If they stay, they will need supplies, like bottled water, non-perishable foods, medications and vitamins, and flashlights and batteries

Preparing for Wildfires

Seniors who reside in areas where wildfires occur often should be prepared at a moment’s notice. Wildfires do not give the luxury to come up with a plan. It is best to already have a plan that can be implemented immediately. You should know your senior’s community plans for evacuations and outline multiple evacuation routes from their home. If they have a pet, include them in these plans! Have a to-go bag filled with supplies like N95 respirator masks, essential documents, vitamins and medications, and food and water at all times.

Preparing for Tornadoes

Similarly, tornadoes do not allow any time for making decisions. A plan needs to be made and known ahead of time. First, help your senior decide if they should stay in their home or seek nearby shelter. If they are staying in their home, establish their safety room, like a basement or windowless interior room. Make sure they know how to identify a tornado by sight and sound in case they miss any warnings.

For more details about our senior care services or keeping your senior safe in bad weather, please reach out to our caregivers here at Home Care Assistance of Carmel. Give us a call today to schedule your consultation!