Mental Health Awareness Month was originally celebrated in 1949. That was 73 years ago! The goals of the sponsoring organization, originally the National Committee for Mental Hygiene (now Mental Health America), were to improve attitudes toward mental health/illness, improve services for mental health clients, and promote mental health.
Older adults are more at risk for depression because of increasing health issues, chronic pain, and personal loss with the memories associated with that loss. Everyone needs social connections to survive and thrive, but as people age, they often find themselves spending more time alone, putting them at a greater risk for depression.
Potential signs of mental health distress in seniors include social withdrawal, depressed mood, change in personal care, change in eating and sleeping habits, changes in weight, unexplained fatigue, and energy loss.
It is important to attend to mental health just like you would physical health. Mental and physical health are equally important components of overall health. For example, depression increases the risk for many types of physical health problems, particularly long-lasting conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
At The Township Senior Living Battlefield, MO we understand depression is a treatable condition like diabetes or hypertension. Don’t settle for being depressed at any age! It is not a normal part of getting older. A primary care physician or mental health specialist can address chronic feelings of sadness.