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More Withdrawn. If you notice your senior is becoming more withdrawn from previously enjoyed social activities, or if they aren’t communicating as often with family and friends, this could be a sign.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