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Warning Signs of Mental Health Issues with Seniors

As a loved one ages, it can be hard to discern whether changes in behavior are part of the aging process or a sign of more serious mental health issues.

Confusion between the two can result in valid concerns going undiagnosed or unaddressed – in fact, of the 20% of American adults aged 55 or older who experience a mental health concern, nearly one in three does not receive adequate treatment. Princeton Health Care Center is committed to ensuring that our residents receive exceptional mental health support and services.

What Causes Mental Illness?

Mental illness is not the result of one event but rather a combination of interlinking causes: genetics, family history, the environment, and lifestyle choices. Prolonged stress, being the victim of a crime, and exposure to emotional, physical, or sexual trauma can increase the chances of a mental illness developing. And from a neurological perspective, the chemical processes and basic structure of the brain also play a significant role.

The Most Common Mental Health Conditions in Seniors

There are a range of conditions that could necessitate a mental health component to the care provided at Princeton Health Care Center. Some of the most common conditions include:

  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Borderline personality disorders
  • Major depressive disorders
  • Dissociative disorders
  • Obsessive compulsive disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Schizoaffective disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Substance abuse

The most common treatments and therapies for these and other mental health issues consist of psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and support groups, as well as stress-management techniques, self-help, and medication. A key facet to the mental health services provided by Princeton Health Care Center is the understanding that each person is unique, and that a treatment that works for one person might not work for another. Drawing on our considerable experience in the mental health field, and with patience and time, we develop an effective treatment plan for each resident seeking support.

Support for Seniors with Mental Health Issues

Support for seniors is most effective via a combined effort between our skilled nursing center and families/caregivers. To this end, here are some ways to help a senior manage their treatment and get the most from their care program.

  • Organize a digital or printed medical file for your loved one, containing key information like name, date of birth, current medications, and physician’s name.
  • Offer to accompany your loved one to their appointments.
  • If a new medication is offered, encourage a discussion with the doctor about how well current drugs are working, the risks, benefits and side effects of each option, and the costs of each.

Mental Health Matters

Princeton Health Care Center invests greatly in the resources, training, and treatments needed to support and treat those of our residents with mental health issues. We take great pride in meeting the skilled nursing needs of the elderly in southern West Virginia, and we encourage you to contact us for a tour of our facility and an introduction to our services.

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