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Evaluate The Mental Health Of Your Loved Ones When You Live Far Away
If you live far away from your loved one in senior care in Great Falls, VA, ask how they are feeling during visits or communications. Watch for clues and listen carefully if they mention anything about being sad, depressed, or feeling empty for extended periods of time. Knowing the warning signs is the key to giving seniors the help that they need through senior care services.
Signs That May Indicate a Mental Health Issue
Depression can affect the way you think, feel, and act. It is a common issue seen among older adults in rehab and post-op, home health care, or Alzheimer’s and dementia care, but should not bethought of as a natural part of aging. Depression in seniors can be difficult to recognize due to the fact that the symptoms are often different from those seen in younger people.
As opposed to feelings of sadness as a main symptom, seniors tend to experience more of a numbness and loss of interest in activities. In addition, they are less likely to discuss their feelings.
While seniors experience depression differently, some of the most common symptoms include:
- Persistent feelings of sadness, emptiness, or anxiety
- Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, worthlessness, or guilt
- Restlessness or irritability
- Loss of interest in activities that used to bring joy
- Slow talking or moving
- Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, or remembering things
- Suicidal thoughts
Other depression warning signs to look out for include:
- Sleeping problems
- Reduced appetite
- Complaints about pain
Take note of anything that seems out of the ordinary for your loved one’s character or personality.
Ideas to Help Assess Senior Mental Health
It is important to remember that depression is not just an unavoidable facet of growing older. It can be a serious, yet treatable, condition. There are a few ways to help you assess the mental health of your loved ones when you live far away.
Keep the conversation natural and organic so as not to come across as interrogating. Ask questions like, “What is going on in your life this week?” to inspire your loved one to share more. Asking “How did your doctor’s appointment go?” is a way to be thoughtful without being patronizing.
Chatting with grandchildren over Zoom is a great way to lift a loved one’s spirits and provide great stress reduction. Make sure to spend some time talking to them one-on-one when the kids are not around as well.
During these video chats, pay attention to the background for additional clues. Take note as to whether the house is tidy and maintained. Also, notice whether your loved one appears to be practicing good personal hygiene and does not look unkempt, or have disheveled hair.
How Do Capital City Nurses Help to Cope with Mental Health Issues in Seniors?
If you suspect depression or other mental health issues, connect with caregivers at Capital City Nurses. Our highly trained caregivers listen to seniors in our care and pay attention to details beyond expectations. Our goal is to provide individualized in-home health care services that encourage independence and engagement every day. Give us a call today to find out more about in-home care, medication management, and professional senior care giving.