How Aging Effects Mental Health


Older adults are more at risk of mental health problems because they are at a very pivotal part of their lives. This does not mean aging causes mental health problems, but that some people may have trouble adjusting to change. Some of these changes include retirement, aging, the death of loved ones, and illness. These changes can be stressful and put some older adults at risk of developing depression or anxiety. Some signs that may signal mental health problems in older adults are:

  • Changes in Cleanliness
    • Changes in physical appearance or home maintenance can be a sign that someone is struggling. A decline in either of these areas along with the refusal of help is an indicator that rather than not being capable of completing these tasks, they are just not feeling motivated too.
  • Feelings of Worthlessness
    • Feelings of worthlessness are a common sign of depression.
  • Unexplainable Physical Problems
    • While some normal aches and pains come with aging, if there is an ongoing physical problem that can’t be diagnosed, it could be related to mental health. The mind and the body have a strong connection and when someone is feeling unwell mentally it is not uncommon for them to also feel unwell physically.
  • Social Withdrawal
    • It can be more difficult for older adults to overcome the mental and physical struggle that comes with mental health problems. Because of this, older adults may become more withdrawn.
  • Trouble with Finances
    • People who have always been good at budgeting may start to have trouble keeping track of their finances. It is important to get the situation properly assessed to determine if it is related to memory problems or mental health problems.
  • Unexplainable Sleep Changes
    • If your loved one seems fatigued and has a disrupted sleep pattern, it could mean they are under extra stress. If the problem has been assessed and it is still unexplainable, it could be connected to mental health problems.

If one of your loved ones is struggling with mental health problems, visit our Mental Health Services Directory to find help.


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