Recognising Mental Health in the Elderly: Care and Support

As we enter 2024, it is critical to focus on an often-overlooked facet of aged care: mental health. Older adults frequently encounter mental health issues such as sadness, anxiety, and the consequences of social isolation, which can have a substantial influence on their quality of life.

Get in touch

Understanding Mental Health in the Elderly

Mental health concerns among elderly people are more widespread than we may realise. Conditions such as dementia-related depression and late-life anxiety disorders are common, yet they are frequently overlooked or misdiagnosed as normal ageing.

Get in touch

Identifying Signs of Mental Health Issues

It is critical to detect the indicators of mental health disorders in the elderly, which might include mood swings, withdrawal from social activities, and memory problems. Distinguishing these indications from the natural ageing process can be challenging but necessary for appropriate management.

Signs of mental health issues in the elderly to look out for include:

  1. Changes in Appetite or Sleep Patterns: Significant differences in eating or sleeping patterns.
  2. Lack of Interest in Previously Enjoyed Activities: An obvious indifference to hobbies or diversions that they used to enjoy.
  3. Neglect of Personal Hygiene: Personal care and grooming receive less attention.
  4. Unexplained Physical Complaints: Frequent claims of aches, pains, or other physical problems with no obvious medical reason.
  5. Irritability or Agitation: Feeling more frustrated, irritated, or agitated in ordinary situations.
  6. Social Withdrawal: A tendency to shy away from social situations and to value alone.
  7. Cognitive Changes: Difficulty concentrating, confusion, or disorientation beyond what is expected with normal ageing.
  8. Mood or Personality Changes: Fluctuations in emotional state or changes in character attributes.
  9. Feelings of Despair or Hopelessness: Expressions of deep sadness, despair, or hopelessness.

Understanding these indicators is crucial for prompt and impactful intervention and assistance.

Get in touch

Receiving Help for Elderly with Mental Health Issues Using Home Care from Home Instead

Whilst we look after many older people with mental health issues we find that talking through what might seem to be a challenging thought or difficult time with our client can often alleviate anxiety and reduce the stress that they might be feeling.

Client team leaders are able to liaise with our local community mental health teams and GP’s to ask for professional guidance.  We have in some cases been able to raise a Safeguarding concern if we had observed that a client might be neglecting their own health, and, by doing this, we are able to promote a faster connection with the specialised local mental health team and GP. We work with healthcare professionals to create a package of support that will really make a difference.

Sometimes, that level of intervention isn’t required.  We have found that connecting with local groups which might be able to support individuals has been the key to having a positive day. The Live well, our way magazine which we publish twice a year lists over 250 clubs and activities for over 55’s in Altrincham Sale, Wythenshawe and districts within those towns.

A positive place to start engaging with mental health is to help make connections which will have a positive impact on the individual’s wellbeing. Look for a hobby or activity sport that you think could enhance their mood.  A great starting point is Live Well, Your Way magazine which lists the details of the clubs; groups and activities taking place in the community and the contact details for each of them.

Highlighted below are a couple that I have pulled out of our magazine that might be useful for people struggling with mental health.

Anxiety group Altrincham Methodist Church

2:00 PM Mondays 0161 226 3871

Mindfulness and Managing Stress Broomwood Community Centre email

[email protected]

Broomwood Community Wellbeing Centre website

11:00 AM Thursday 0161 941 7754 or 07874895507

Community choir Sat Paul’s Sale

1:00 PM Fridays (term time) 0161 962 0082

50+ Beginners Dance Tree of Life Centre Woodhouse park

1:30PM Tuesdays 0161436 0560

Good Companions the hub Altrincham

First Wednesday of the month 0161 941 2018

If you are new to the idea of care and support at home and would like to talk through the benefits it can bring to wellbeing and mental health as we age, , please do not hesitate to give Laura Muldoon and her team at Home Instead Altrincham, Wythenshawe and Sale a call on 0161 506 8305.

Home Instead Altrincham, Sale & Wythenshawe covers the Trafford and South Manchester areas including:

Sale, Sale West, Sale Moor, Northern Moor, Northenden, Ashton On Mersey, Brooklands, West Timperley, Timperley, Oldfield Brow, Altrincham, Broadheath, Dunham, Bowdon, Hale, Hale Barns, Baguley, Broomwood, Wythenshawe, Newall Green, Wellgreen.

Get in touch