How Your Mental Health Needs Change as You Get Older

Much like physical health, our mental health requires careful amounts of attention and care. And as we get older, our needs for how we take care of ourselves mentally impact us in profound ways.

If you are considering moving your parents into an aged care residence, it’s important to ensure that the place you’re bringing them to upholds their dignity and approaches health holistically. 

Responsibilities around caring for the elderly may push mental health concerns to the back burner; however, it’s not a good idea to ignore these issues. Working towards maintaining your aging parents’ mental health will improve their quality of life and make the process easier for everyone in the family.


elderly couple sitting on a bench

What’s The Importance of Mental Health in the Elderly?

Treating the mind as well as the body is key to maintaining mental health. Unfortunately, many seniors are reluctant to seek medical treatment for their mental conditions because they don’t believe there’s anything wrong and that they don’t need any help.

There’s often a silent social barrier between young and old people that causes misunderstandings about the significance of therapy. If your elderly parent falls under this camp, let them know these things to convince them:

  • Positive thinking and mental health is linked to an 11 to 15% longer life span
  • Therapy isn’t only for the desperate; it’s for anyone who wants to feel better
  • It can combat chronic physical ailments and prevent them from happening
  • Better mental health can calm you down and decrease stress in the body

Regardless of your age, you should be proactive about your mental health. Whether you’re young or old, taking care of your mental health leads to long-lasting effects. It’s best to be on the positive side of things.

Warning Signs of Mental Disorders in Older Adults

Before you begin to worry about your aging loved one’s mental health, it’s important to know what you should look out for. You can sit down with them and talk over their concerns so you both know the signs of a possible illness.

Some warning signs include:

  • An increase in thoughts about death or dying
  • Loss of interest in work or hobbies
  • Increased amounts of anxiety and/or depression
  • Hearing voices in your head
  • Withdrawal from friends and family members during social situations
  • Sleeping more or less than usual

It’s best to observe these signs and get help for them once their mental state starts to deteriorate.

Find a trusted medical professional or even a counsellor to talk about your parent’s mental health. Moreover, you can entrust your elderly loved ones to one of Australia’s finest aged care residencies to give them access to around-the-clock physical and mental care.

This way, you can rest easy knowing your parents are in good hands – even while you’re busy working towards your career and providing for your family.

Click here to find out more about privacy in aged care residency.

If My Parent(s) Already has Mental Health Issues – What Then?

There are a few mental illnesses that have a connection to aging, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. If you’re taking care of an elderly parent with one of these conditions or another mental illness, it’s important to know the signs so that you can consult a doctor accordingly.

The best thing that you can do, aside from being in touch with a professional, is to assist them. You can prepare a list of things they have been doing so that you can relay that to a doctor. You can watch over them and ensure that they’re well taken care of on a day-to-day basis.

Lastly, it’s also important to take care of yourself during this entire process. If you feel overwhelmed and overburdened by your parent’s worsening mental state, know that it’s totally okay to seek help and find your parents an aged care facility to spend their time in. This way, you’ll have more time in your hands and your parents will have immediate access to health facilities and amenities.

How Can You Help the Elderly During A Mental Health Crisis?

When you think about mental health, many people often think of psychiatric hospitals. Although this option is certainly available for older adults who need them, there are other facilities that your elderly relative may prefer.

If you’re looking for an alternative to taking your loved one into a hospital during their time of crisis, you could consider putting them up at an aged care facility. These places provide elderly people access to regular physical checkups and careful treatment for their limitations.

After all, the last thing you want is for your loved one’s health to take a turn for the worse because they’re suffering from mental illness. So instead of leaving them at home in isolation, you could take them to one of Australia’s best aged care residences.

These facilities are staffed by well-trained professionals who can provide physical support, such as diet and hygiene, when necessary and also help the elderly with their mental health issues.

How Do Aged Care Facilities Provide for the Elderly?

Aged care workers are trained to have a sense of duty of care. This means that workers should be able to provide maximum care, comfort, health checks, and quality of life for the elderly to their extent.

They must follow this duty in conjunction with the private personal information that’s handed over to them by you to ensure that the elderly are well-accounted for.

The needs that these facilities provide for include:

  • Physical
  • Medical
  • Restorative
  • Psychological
  • Social

Workers who provide care for the elderly must adhere to a duty of care. This implies they must be able to handle privacy, comfort, and overall patient care, as well as assess the health status of their patients and identify any significant hazard.

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