Aging and mental health issues
As we age, there are many health issues that may crop up and cause other associated mental health problems. Mental and physical health are interconnected with each other. As we get older and we age, our physical and mental health tends to decline. Adjusting to new health problems can lead to other issues. It can also cause mental stress. This can affect the elderly age group people.
Mental health in the elderly age group often slips under the radar and needs close monitoring. That could mean that you have to adjust to a new environment. These events can affect mental health. The majority of us tend to ignore mental health as it may get unnoticed or unidentified. Mental health care is also a stigma and may create barriers for older adults who need treatment.
Why is mental health in older adults an issue?
The world's population is aging at a growing rate. From 2015 to 2050, the number of people aged 60 and up is expected to double. This is going from about 900 million to 2 billion adults over the age of 60.
One in 4 elderly patients experiences issues with their mental health. The most common issues are depression, dementia, and anxiety. Depression and dementia are the most common affecting 5% to 7% of the population over 60. Anxiety follows as a close second with WHO World Health Organization reporting that it affects 3.8% of older adults.
Mental health issues faced by older adults
The mental health needs of older adults are unique. There can be rollercoaster emotional events and bodily changes which result from aging. The mental health issues faced by older adults are-
- Substance abuse
- Mental distress
- Suicidal tendency
Elderly patients are a high rate of suicide when compared to other groups. People aged 85 and over have the highest rate followed closely by adults aged 75-80 years of age. Social isolation and loneliness are contributing factors. Social isolation and loneliness are contributing factors too. They have been linked to physical illness and conditions which are as follows.
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Weak immune system
- Cognitive decline
Humans are social species. Not connecting with others can lead to mental health issues. Well, you can still feel lonely even if you are surrounded by people. This could affect self-esteem.