Richa Madaan

Author
Richa Madaan

The Importance of Mental and Emotional Well-Being in Elderly Care

  Jan 16, 2024
Reviewed by Ayushi Jain

Aging is a process that everyone goes through at some point in life. The rapidity and severity of this process differ from person to person. In old age, it becomes vital to emphasize mental health in comprehensive care.

It is necessary to prioritize the mental and emotional well-being of older people. Not everyone is lucky enough to have the benefit of being healthy, even at an old age. 

That’s why, in this article, we will learn the importance of mental well-being, concerning symptoms and the required treatment!

Common Issues Faced by Elderly

Older people who suffer from physical ailments tend to isolate themselves from their peers and feel outcasted. Physical issues tend to get diagnosed, but mental problems remain untouched and untreated. 

Let’s learn of the common issues that people face in older age.

Emotional Challenges

There are various emotional challenges that seniors go through during the aging process. 

  • Fear: Engulfment of fear, be it the fear of losing independence, financial control, or lifestyle control. It takes a toll on their mental state and instills the thought of being useless.
  • Grief: As people age, it becomes common to lose people. The loss of someone close to their heart takes them through a stage of grief. The sorrow remains for a long time and affects the mental state.
  • Isolation: When people lose purpose in life, they tend to isolate themselves from society, questioning their existence and worrying about being a burden to their loved ones. In extreme cases, they go suicidal. 
  • Abuse: Sometimes, the elders go through abuse, which affects their emotional well-being and leaves them with no option, other than isolation.

Did You Know?
Approximately 14% of adults aged 60 and over live with a mental disorder.

  • Mental Disorders

    Studies prove that many people suffer from mental disorders in the later stage of life. 

  • Depression

    Depression is a mental issue that affects the functioning of the body and debilitates life. It is not age-specific, but older people tend to be more susceptible.

  • Dementia 

    Dementia is a disorder that causes progressive memory deterioration and impairs the ability to perform cognitive tasks. It is commonly seen in people of older age.

Strategies to Promote Mental Health 

Below are some strategies that can combat the emotional challenges and improve the overall health of the elders. Dive in to know more!

Social Connection

Maintaining connection is vital for the well-being of human beings. Social interaction helps to fight feelings of isolation and loneliness and further contributes to curing depression. 

social interaction stats image 

The above chart shows that older people who live alone have a higher chance of having a long-term mental condition.

Encourage the seniors to participate in social activities and support groups, or engage in activities that improve their connection with peers.

Emotional Support

Elders go through a lot of emotional challenges during transitions in life. It would be a great help to lend a listening ear. Provide emotional support by encouraging open communication.

Try to spend quality time with the seniors to improve their emotional well-being.

Mental Stimulation

Engaging in mentally stimulating activities can sharpen the brain and cognitive skills. Encourage the elders to participate in playing games, puzzles, and other activities to improve the thinking abilities of the elders.

It provides a sense of accomplishment and improves overall health.

Holistic Healthcare

Holistic healthcare emphasizes the comprehensive care of the elders. Collaborate with healthcare professionals that provide this type of care to seniors, like this aged care facility in Melbourne. This care can include counseling, therapy, and complementary therapies.

Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques

Mindfulness helps in reducing stress and anxiety levels. Advise the elders to give time to relaxation techniques, like meditation, breathing exercises, relaxation poses, or yoga.

Benefits of Therapy and Counselling 

Elders need someone to have a heartfelt conversation, with, to discuss the pressing matters of life. Some counselors and therapists assist in healing the pain and trauma that has piled up for years.

Counseling sessions include long conversations, self-reflection, and letting out negative emotions. It helps the elders to let down the burden and puts them at ease.

Therapist stats image 

Therapy sessions may contain aroma therapy, music therapy, or clay therapy. It helps to calm the nerves and divert attention. These practices also help to release happy hormones.

The main idea of this practice is to help the elders cope with stress and anxiety.

Impact of Mental Well-being on Overall Health 

If a person is mentally fit, they tend to enjoy life and dedicate their time to physical activities, which poses a positive effect on physical health.  

A person should be healthy in mind to take up the mission of being physically fit. Mental health and physical health are equally important and interrelated to each other. 

For instance, prolonged depression can cause many chronic problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Conclusion

Maintaining the mental well-being of the elders is vital to living a high-quality life. Use the strategies mentioned above and take care of the seniors.

Seek professional help if the symptoms of mental issues become severe. Visit a therapist or counselor for better guidance.




×