Aging can be a challenge, both socially and emotionally. Being an elder, you may be struggling with loneliness and depression. You may also feel frustrated due to various health issue. Taking care of aging parents or elder care is a role reversal that very few people find easy.
Stats reveal that approximately 15% of adults above the age of 60 have mental health concerns, including:
- Anxiety, affecting 6% of older adults
- Sexual dysfunction and sleep difficulties. The possibility of either of these conditions intensifies with age.
- Depression, hitting approximately 7% of the aged population which often remains undiagnosed and untreated, resulting in behavioral concerns like aggression, motor inactivity or overactivity, and verbal outbursts.
- High suicide rates.
- Alcohol and substance dependency, around 2-5% of men and 1% of women above the age of 65 are addicted to drugs or alcohol
- According to the estimate made by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, about half of all Americans within the age of 50 to 70 will be at high risk of alcohol and marijuana dependency by the year 2020.
Common Problems Endured by the Elderly People :
- Many individuals look forward to retirement, expecting it to be the time when finally they could relax, slow down, and enjoy life peacefully.
- Although it’s true that the golden years after retirement can be some of the best years of life, but there are still some significant challenges that people might have to face.
Particularly, difficulties caused by age and life circumstances. Here are a few most common problems faced by seniors:
Physical and Mental Health:
Many older folks have maintained good mental and physical health. However, as we begin aging, the biological effects come into play, and our muscles and bones start weakening, limited mobility, loss of eyesight, and hearing.
Elders also suffer from dementia, along with Alzheimer’s disease, which affects around 10% of people above the age of 65, growing to 32% in people of age 85 and above.
Due to such physical or mental health conditions, aged people need assistance with at least one everyday routine activity such as bathing or cooking.
Bereavement, Social Isolation, and Loneliness:
Aged people tend to have fewer chances for social engagement than the groups of younger age.They get retired from jobs, children move away to some other place, mates and spouses pass away, and ultimately, they may grow into housebound if they lose the strength to drive or fall ill.Bereavement is always a painful event. The grief accompanying the death of a spouse or partner can last for quite a long time, further emerging into anxiety, depression, isolation, and other problems. Out of all these concerns, loneliness is perhaps the most familiar and the most challenging one to overcome.
Researches show aged people who live alone often encounter social isolation and constant feelings of loneliness, causing sadness, illness, and even death.
Being financially secure and independent is one of the major concerns of any individual especially in older age when most of the seniors live on a fixed income after retirement. The constantly rising cost of living can pose many financial limitations on elder people. They may not be able to sustain or afford the same way of life they had been accustomed to. An additional unexpected medical expense can make them further fall behind.
Although, several older adults get social security benefits that help increase their income. Still, two-thirds of the ones who survive solely on social security payments are bound to live below the official poverty level.
Unemployment or underemployment is a significant problem in older people. In addition to the usual challenges faced by any job seeker, aged workers encounter biased practices, stereotypical attitudes, and a negative self-perception. These self-defeating attitudes and responses can be addressed easily with the help of an expert counselor.
Also, retirement is a critical and often traumatic event resulting in restlessness as opposed to the notion of relaxing. Many experts consider pre-retirement programs as a holistic approach for managing the after retirement life perfectly.
Giving care to an older adult is a complicated and often uncharted region for many of us. Taking care of elderly care issues can be very stressful at times, sending even the healthiest person into a tailspin. Counseling can prove to be beneficial to family caregivers also, helping them to reduce the physical and mental exhaustion. Also, they can assist on how to care for elderly parents and resolve elderly care problems precisely. So don't hesitate to contact our experienced and well qualified counselors, who are ready to serve you in every possible way.
National Alliance on Mental Illness
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