Elderly Mental Health Best Practices
| Mental health can be described as the psychological status of a person that helps him to provide intellectual contributions to functions of daily living regardless of his physical health. Mental health mostly gets destabilized when a person enters his old age.
According to research, humans lose some cognitive functions during the process of aging. However, there are certain mental health problems such as dementia, depression and Alzheimer’s disease that can be prevented if they are properly taken care of.
Almost 13 percent of the U.S. population constitutes of elderly people. It is estimated that 18 to 25 percent of these elderly need mental health care for problems such as depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s and other psychosomatic disorders. Apart from treating the individual, community-based programs should be initiated to create public awareness regarding mental health problems, their implications and treatment procedures. Mental health problems in elders can be prevented by initiating efforts in locating elders who are depressed and employing effective elder care programs. These elder care programs are either family-based or else provided by professionals.
While family members take care of the adults in family-based programs, elder care is also provided by professionals or specialists such as registered nurses, health aid workers, medical practitioners, neuropsychologists, social workers, occupational therapists and physical therapists. Geriatric care provided by nurses includes dispensing medications, dressing wounds and providing basic medical care for elders. Assistance in daily activities is provided by health aides. Geriatricians are specialized medical doctors who can diagnose illnesses related to aging and prescribe suitable medications and treatments.
Neuropsychologists provide psychological treatment to mental health problems. Occupational therapists are professionals helping elders in managing their daily activities.
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