What Are the Most Common Emotional Issues in Seniors?

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In addition to various physical health issues, seniors are often challenged by emotional issues. This combination can significantly diminish quality of life, and it needs to be recognized and treated promptly. Here are the most common emotional issues in seniors. 

Sadness Over Loss of Independence

Many seniors experience sadness as a result of losing their independence, which may stem from having to give up their homes and relocate to long-term care facilities or assisted living communities. Loss of independence can also be related to mobility limitations and preexisting health conditions that prevent seniors from performing the activities of daily living. 

A senior’s sadness over lost independence can be mitigated with the help of a professional caregiver. Many seniors prefer aging in place over moving to assisted living facilities. If your senior loved one needs assistance to remain safe and comfortable while living at home, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading senior home care agency. Our dedicated in-home caregivers can assist with meal prep, bathing and grooming, exercise, medication reminders, and many other important tasks.

Cognitive Decline

Cognitive deficits can lead to emotional issues in seniors. Diminished cognitive function can raise the risk of depression, anxiety, agitation, and combativeness. If your senior loved one suddenly experiences emotional distress as a result of cognitive decline, make an appointment with his or her physician. The doctor will perform a medical and psychological examination and may refer your loved one to a mental health professional if necessary. 

If your loved one’s cognitive decline is due to dementia, help is just a phone call away. Dementia can be challenging for seniors to manage, but they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional dementia care. Anchorage seniors can benefit greatly from the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program designed to promote cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. CTM is included at no additional charge with any of the in-home care plans provided by Home Care Assistance.

Loneliness & Social Isolation

Loneliness and social isolation may be related to the loss of a spouse, a diminishing social group, or the inability to leave the home because of limited mobility or other health issues. To help your loved one manage these issues, organize social functions or invite him or her to accompany you on an outing. 

Outings don’t need to be elaborately planned or expensive. A simple trip to the park, shopping mall, or grocery store exposes your loved one to different environments and people. As your loved one goes out more frequently, he or she may become less lonely and isolated. 

If your loved one is unable to venture away from home, consider getting a pet for him or her. A dog or cat may brighten your loved one’s mood and restore hope for a brighter future. Pets also give lonely seniors a sense of purpose and prompt them to exercise more. 

Fear of the Unknown

Fear of the unknown may be especially prevalent in seniors living with chronic illnesses or significant pain. If your loved one appears frightened or apprehensive about the future, visit his or her physician. Your loved one may be a candidate for cognitive behavioral therapy, which may significantly reduce these negative feelings. 

If cognitive behavioral therapy proves unsuccessful, the physician may prescribe anti-anxiety medication or antidepressants. These medications may only be prescribed on a short-term basis because long-term use can have significant side effects, such as confusion, fatigue, gastrointestinal disorders, and dizziness, and they may even heighten the risk of drug dependence. 

Emotional issues can have a significant impact on seniors’ overall health and wellbeing, so they shouldn’t be dismissed or ignored. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality home care service. Anchorage families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably. To learn about our high-quality in-home care services, give us a call at (907) 770-0907 today.


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