Mental health issues are more talked about today than ever before. However, not many are working on how this is affecting older generations. Here’s what you need to know to help them! According to a longitudinal ageing study in India, more than 20% of adults over the age of 60 already have mental health problems. The number increased as stress, health anxiety, and sadness increased, especially among young families, close friends, or those who lost their spouses during the Covid 19 pandemic. Among those who have recovered from the virus, research studies show that older people are twice as likely to develop mood or anxiety disorders for the first time. In addition, you are 23 times more likely to develop dementia in the next few years. This raises concerns about another upcoming pandemic, the mental health pandemic. Mental health affects physical health and vice versa. For example, older people with physical health problems such as heart disease are more likely to suffer from depression than healthy people. In addition, untreated depression in the elderly with heart disease can adversely affect outcomes.
Elderly people are also vulnerable to elder abuse, including physical, linguistic, psychological, financial and sexual abuse. Current evidence suggests that elder abuse affects one in six older people. Elder abuse can have serious and sometimes long-term psychological consequences, such as depression and anxiety, as well as physical injury.
- We should provide elders security and freedom
- Support elders and caregivers socially
- Conduct some community development programs, Health and social programs targeted at vulnerable groups such as those who live alone and in rural populations or who suffer from a chronic or relapsing mental or physical illness
- Good universal health and social care are important for promoting the health of the elderly, preventing illness and managing chronic illnesses. Therefore, it is important to educate all healthcare providers on how to deal with age-related problems and disabilities. Effective primary mental health care at the community level for the elderly is very important. Equally important is to focus on long-term care for the elderly with mental illness and to provide caregivers with education, training and support.
Some methods to be followed by elders for a stress-free life are,
• Try to stay positive: Although we cant extrude what goes on around us, it’s miles critical to remind ourselves of the preceding hard conditions we’ve to conquer in our lives. It all boils right all the way down to drawing from our internal strength.
• Follow a day by day routine: This may be tough for older adults, especially individuals who are dwelling by themselves or recuperating from covid-19. Starting with small steps, consisting of solving mealtimes and going to the mattress at an equal time each day enables one to get a higher night’s sleep, making it less complicated to comply with a routine. Gradually comprise workout and different sports into your day by day schedule.
• Strengthen social connections: Older adults regularly emerge as socially isolated, as they lose their pals or lessen participation in social sports, because of fitness or mobility issues. Whilst the pandemic has brought to this challenge, it’s miles critical to recollect there aren’t any limits to the wide variety of friendships in a lifetime. Social media is an extremely good manner to connect to different like-minded people no matter their age.
• Adopt a wholesome lifestyle: Regular bodily workout for a minimum 20-half-hour day by day and following a nutritious weight loss plan are key to retaining bodily fitness. The launch of endorphins at some stage in the workout additionally improves temper and gives a feeling of well-being.
• Deal with loss: Losing a person you adore is devastating and it’s miles herbal to enjoy a curler coaster of emotions. It is critical now no longer to bottle up emotions and mind as this will cause expanded anxiety/depression and additionally affect bodily fitness. Share what you’re going thru with pals, your own circle of relatives or intellectual fitness professionals.
WHO supports governments to promote and promote mental health in older people and integrating effective strategies into policies and plans. The global strategy and action plan on ageing and health were adopted by the World Health Assembly in 2016. One of the goals of this global strategy is to align health systems with the needs of the ageing population in terms of both mental and physical health. Key actions include: orienting the health system around intrinsic and functional capacity, developing and ensuring access to quality and integrated clinical care, age taking centralising and ensuring a sustainable and properly managed training, implementation and management facility. Depression, psychosis, suicide, epilepsy, dementia and substance use disorders are included in the WHO Mental Health Gap Action Program, which aims to improve care for mental, neurological and substance use disorders by providing advice and tools to develop health services in source-poor countries area. The card set includes interventions for the prevention and management of each of these priority conditions in non-specialized healthcare settings, including those that care for the elderly. WHO recognizes dementia as a public health challenge and released its report, Dementia: A Public Health Priority, to advocate for action at the national and international levels. WHO organized the first ministerial conference on global action against dementia in March 2015, to promote awareness of the public health and economic challenges posed by dementia, intelligence, and a better understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the Member States and stakeholders, and resulted in a “Call to Action” supported by conference participants. Many older people will eventually adapt to change. However, some people will have more difficulty adjusting. This may put you at risk for mental disorders such as depression and anxiety. It is important to recognize and treat mental disorders in the elderly.