Mental Health and Wellbeing: How you can support your ageing parents?
Ageing is a natural part of life, but it can bring about various challenges, including physical health issues, social isolation, and cognitive decline. One aspect of ageing that is often overlooked is mental health. Mental health becomes crucial as people age because they are at an increased risk of developing mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and dementia.
Caregivers play a vital role in promoting the emotional wellbeing of seniors
Caregivers and family members play a vital role in supporting the mental and emotional wellbeing of elderly loved ones. They can do so in several ways including:
- Stay Connected: Staying connected with elderly loved ones is crucial for their emotional wellbeing. Regular visits, phone calls, video chats, or sending letters and cards can help them feel loved and valued.
- Encourage Physical Activity: Regular physical activity can help seniors maintain good mental health. Encourage them to engage in activities like walking, yoga, or tai chi to stay active.
- Provide Mental Stimulation: Mental stimulation can help keep the brain active and prevent cognitive decline. Encourage seniors to engage in activities like reading, crossword puzzles, or playing games.
- Create a Positive Environment: A positive environment can help seniors feel happy and calm and promote positive communication. Caregivers can create a positive environment by playing relaxing music, using soothing scents, and displaying cherished photos and mementos.
- Address Health Concerns: Seniors may face health challenges, such as chronic pain or suffer from long term health conditions, which can impact their mental health. It is vital to address any concerns proactively and manage chronic health conditions to help improve their quality of life and mental wellbeing.
- Seek Professional Help: If seniors are struggling with mental health issues, caregivers and family members can seek professional help. Counselling, therapy, or medication can help manage symptoms and improve overall mental health.
Early signs of mental health issues in elderly
It can be tricky to spot the early signs of mental illness in elderly individuals, leaving caregivers and family members feeling perplexed. But there are some common signs that you can look out for, including:
- Mood changes: Elderly individuals with mental illness may experience sudden and intense mood swings. They may seem extremely sad or irritable, which can be bouncy and confusing for those around them.
- Changes in appetite and sleep patterns: Mental illness can also impact an elderly person's appetite and sleep patterns, causing them to lose interest in food or struggle to sleep at night.
- Loss of interest in activities: Seniors with mental illness may lose interest in activities that they once enjoyed, leaving them feeling isolated and withdrawn from their loved ones and surroundings.
- Memory problems: Mental illness in seniors can also lead to memory problems, which may be mistaken for symptoms of dementia.
- Confusion: Elderly individuals with mental illness may also experience confusion or difficulty following simple instructions, which can be particularly bouncy and concerning for caregivers.
If you notice any of these signs in your elderly loved one, don't hesitate to reach out to mental health professionals for guidance on how to support your loved one's mental health. Remember, with the right care and attention, elderly individuals with mental illness can lead happy and healthy lives.
Tech-enabled Support with PCL Connect
PCL Connect can augment supporting the mental health and wellbeing of elderly individuals by providing families with the tools and resources they need to stay connected, engaged, and well-cared-for.
Connection with loved ones. PCL Connect provides an easy-to-use solution for families to stay connected with their elderly loved ones through voice calls and sharing photos. This helps to reduce social isolation and loneliness and promotes a sense of closeness.
Remote Health monitoring. PCL Connect tab can help monitor and track key health vitals remotely. This makes it an ideal tool to be on the lookout for any early signs of degrading mental health. For example, it can help track the number of steps an elderly adult walks in a day to monitor their physical activity. It makes early intervention possible so that support and care can be given proactively
Reminders and prompts. PCL Connect includes a range of reminders and prompts that can help elderly individuals to stay on top of their medication schedules, appointments, and daily routines. This can reduce stress and anxiety, and help to maintain a sense of control and independence.
Peace of mind
PCL Connect provides families with the reassurance and peace of mind that their loved ones are safe and well-cared-for, even when they are not physically present. This can help to reduce stress and anxiety for both the elderly individual and their family members, and promote a sense of security and comfort.