Mental Health Awareness Month was originally celebrated in 1949. That was 73 years ago! The goals of the sponsoring organization, originally the National Committee for Mental Hygiene (now Mental Health America), were to improve attitudes toward mental health/illness, improve services for mental health clients, and promote mental health.
Older adults are more at risk for depression since most are not in the same living situation that they were in before. Some are now not living in the home that they worked 30-40 years to pay for and maintain. They now must depend on someone else for activities that they were once able to complete on their own.
Potential signs of mental health distress in seniors include persistently sad or anxious, void of any emotions, feeling hopeless or guilty, increased irritability, increased restlessness, loss of interest in activities of pleasure, increased fatigue, difficulty in making decisions, difficulty in sleep, change in eating habits, significant change in weight, or thoughts and maybe conversations of death or suicide.
It is important to attend to mental health just like you would physical health because mental health issues can start to affect an individual’s physical health and their safety if not tended to.
At VITALIA Active Adult Community® – Rockside Seven Hills, OH we understand depression is a treatable condition like diabetes or hypertension. Don’t settle for being depressed at any age! It is not a normal part of getting older. A primary care physician or mental health specialist can address chronic feelings of sadness.