Mental Health Awareness Month was originally celebrated in 1949. That was 73 years ago! The goals of the sponsoring organization, originally the National Committee for Mental Hygiene (now Mental Health America), were to improve attitudes toward mental health/illness, improve services for mental health clients, and promote mental health.
Older adults are at a higher risk for depression due to social isolation and loneliness. Older adults with a family history of depression may be at higher risk. Many older adults have physical limitations making activities of daily living and exercising more difficult.
There are several potential signs of distress in seniors such as changes in personal care, changes in eating habits, and issues with memory. They may exhibit the common symptoms of hopelessness, guilt, irritability, restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating or sleeping, as well as suicidal thoughts. Older adults may also have a feeling of numbness or lack of interest in activities they once found pleasure in, and they may not be willing to talk about their feelings.
It is important to attend to mental health just like you would physical health. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It will affect how we think, feel, and act. Healthy mental health can reduce suicide, family conflict, and substance abuse.
At VITALIA Active Adult Community® – North Olmsted North Olmsted, OH we understand depression is a treatable condition like diabetes or hypertension. Don’t settle for being depressed at any age! It is not a normal part of getting older. A primary care physician or mental health specialist can address chronic feelings of sadness.