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Is it Aging or Mental Illness?  What you need to know

Senior Care in Spartanburg SC

There are many things associated with getting older. They include memory loss, fatigue, confusion and mental decline. Yes, your elderly loved one Senior-Care-Spartanburg-SC may experience decline in all of these area as they age, but in no part should they be considered a normal part of aging. Any of these symptoms in severe form could be a sign of mental illness.

Unfortunately, mental illness in the elderly is often under-diagnosed by healthcare professionals and possibly overlooked by family and loved ones. The stigma of mental illness is a major reason many are reluctant to ask for help.

There are some warning signs to look for if you suspect mental illness in your loved one. They include:

●       Fatigue or loss of energy

●       Memory loss

●       Prolonged sadness or depression

●       Disorientation

●       Changes in appetite

●       Significant changes in weight

●       Confusion

●       Unexplained body aches and pains

●       Trouble handling things that they normally do

●       Inappropriate guilt

●       Feeling “better off dead”


Risk factors

Mental and physical health go hand in hand. And for the elderly, even more so. For example, depression rates are higher in older adults with heart disease. Not treating your loved one’s mental illness can also negatively impact their physical health.


So, knowing the risk factors will go a long way to helping you care for your elderly loved one and hopefully ward off some mental illness. Some risk factors of mental illness include:

●      Change of environment

●      Long-term illness

●      Physical disability that affects memory

●      The loss of a loved one

●      Medication interactions

●      Malnutrition


What you can do about it

As your loved one’s caregiver, there are some precautions that you can take to help reduce your loved one’s risk of mental illness. Making adjustments at home-like employing a home care provider-is one step and can be extremely helpful in creating a supportive environment.


Prevent barriers to treatment

If you are concerned about the cost of caring for your loved one with mental illness, his or her insurance provider may cover a wide range of services required-screenings, lab tests, doctor visits and visits to mental health clinicians-for their mental health. Medicare may also cover these services.


Mental illness is not just a part of aging. Any symptom in severe form requires medical attention by your loved one’s doctor or healthcare provider. Doing so will improve your loved one’s quality of life significantly. Don’t let stereotypes about the elderly and mental illness get in the way of giving your loved one the care he or she may need. Prompt attention is necessary and remember that you are your loved one’s best advocate.


If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring senior care in Spartanburg, SC, contact Heart of the Carolinas Home Care at 864-991-3116.

Providing Home Care Services in Greenville, Simpsonville, Greer, Anderson, Spartanburg, Mauldin, Seneca, Laurens,Charleston, Columbia and the surrounding areas.





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