Is there help addressing the emotional and mental well-being of the elderly?
I have read numerous articles about the elderly suffering from depression and anxiety arising from various causes such as grief, loss, poor health, etc. However, in spite of the overwhelming numbers of the population classed as seniors and baby boomers retiring, I have not heard of a health provider offering mental health help for the elderly. It seems that there is utter neglect in addressing mental health problems and brushing everything concerning the elderly's mental and emotional weakness under the "Alzheimer's rug" . Or else, accepting aging as given and just learn to live with it.
There is a lot of help out there, here in England we have social services who help in assessing the needs of the elderly people here. But sometimes people who need help or friends and relations of the elderly person should go and ask for help if an elderly person needs help because if these problems are left then the elderly person will get worse and may develop Alzheimer's disease or Dementia. Those who are in need should ask for help before things get worse. As the saying says "If you don't ask, you don't get.
You are absolutely correct in that friends and family should ask for help. The problem I have seen is that social services and the medical community are quick to dismiss the elderly's problems and it is quite a struggle to get the help. Thank you.
I have lived with this one for many years, as a child of aging parents and as an alternative health practitioner. Ten years ago, I cared for my mother and helped her heal a great deal in her last two years, as she was dying of both Alzheimers and cancer. Now I am caring for my father-in-law, who is 90 and suffering from a head injury that happened three years ago. I've also worked through issues with my aging father as his capacity for understanding slows down, and I'm helping my mother-in-law with key life decisions, such as where to live.
It is challenging work. When people have less ability to explain what they are feeling and to focus their minds, it can be hard even to know what is a symptom of a physical condition (such as pain or difficulty breathing), and what is an emotional reaction.
Most of my success has been created using tools, such as meditative presence, that are outside the Western mainstream for either physical or psychological care.
Unfortunately a good majority of healthcare providers, including Doctors, are either too busy with the younger patients in their practice. Or on the other hand forget to address the delicate needs of this half of the patient population, who just like everyone else out there.
They are succumbed by the emotional issues, such as depression, from a variety of causes, that need attention. More then just brushing the elderly to the side and over medicating them for one. This a great deal of practitioners, feel will go away, or remedy itself, by turning to multiple combinations of anti-psychotics and tranquilizer s, that will only place the elderly in a stupor & make them sicker, with more problems, then they started with.
Unfortunately not the case! I've been seeing more and more healthcare providers, now using an alternative approach, to treating not only younger patients. But also many older ones who are burdened by dementia, or have depression.
These Doctors, apply osteo, or body manipulation, without the pills & other similar treatments. They address issues, with the elderly, by treating them as a real person-no phony baloney, and they do so with a genuine, caring attitude, and addressing the mind, as well as the body, as one unit and not as a separate entity so to speak.
This approach, has been very successful without, the pills and utilizes many natural supplements and remedies,that also address pain as well, such as magnesium glycerinate, for example.
There are many mental health organizations and they do not just treat the young. My mother went to one when my father died after a 32 year marriage. She was helped a lot, just having someone to talk to that did not judge. The grief counseling and medical help she received also helped considerably. The pills they gave her helped her depression lesson and that helped her get used to a new way of living. I believe that there is also a test to find out if it is Alzheimer;s or something else that is causing problems. Going to a Dr. and possibly to a mental health Dr. to get tested is the best way to find out what the problem is. Even Alzheimer's has treatments that help slow it down.
I agree with you in that there is neglect in addressing mental health problems and brushing them under the rug. In my own experience, it's not just with the elderly and those suffering from Alzheimer's and dementia. I have a 25 year old with autism and many neuro-psychological issues. She has lived in a rest home with many elderly folk for four years. The home is half filled with others like my daughter and between the ages of 25 and 50 (the younger generation). Just from being involved with my daughter's medical and mental healthcare, most physicians are there to treat the problems with medication. Unfortunately, alternative care is not an option with most health insurances, Medicaid, or Medicare. So, where do we go from here?
Personally being involved with my daughter and those at the home where she resides, I have been able to interact with residents as well as staff, social services, and my state's health and human services department. Many of these elderly and mentally ill patients don't have family, or their families have turned their backs on them. This is an unfortunate because I believe that they are the ones that can help these people best.
Opportunities are out there. My daughter is involved with some day activities outside of the home to help improve her cognitive skills. She also makes friends with other members of these activities as well as the staff, and the staff seem to care much more with these private organizations. They cost little as Medicare and Medicaid usually pay for them. However, someone close to them must take initiative to get them involved. Physicians, nor group home administrators, will do this as they are busy with too many other patients.
I believe "family" is the best solution in addressing the problems of elderly and those with mental issues. Neglect usually begins there. Love can heal many wounds.
Thanks, Abby. You are absolutely correct. I just wish treatment was more freely given as some have no family to fight for them. Your daughter is a lucky one to have your love. Hugs.
Thanks, irvinetraveller. It's my dream to start some sort of advocacy group for these who don't have anyone fighting for them. I'm still learning the ropes of how everything works right now. Have you joined billybuc's group called H.O.W.?
Dear Abby, All it takes is someone with a dream and the fortitude to head on. I shall look up billybuc's group. Thank you.
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