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  • Disha Nevatia

Old age and Mental Health

Mental disorders are often associated with old age with many aged people being susceptible to mental health disorders. Senile dementia and psychosis with cerebral arteriosclerosis are 2 major psychotic disorders that often affect older people. It has been observed that these two disorders account for approximately 80% of the psychotic disorders among older people in civilized societies.

Aged people who suffer from senile dementia struggle with poor memory, intolerance of change, disorientation, rest lessens, insomnia, failure of judgment, and a gradual formation of delusion and hallucinations. Meanwhile, aged people who suffer from psychosis with cerebral arteriosclerosis struggle with acute indigestion, unsteadiness in gait, small strokes resulting in cumulative brain damage, and gradual personality change. Conclusive seizures are relatively common.

The decline in mental ability makes them dependent as well since they no longer have trust or faith in their judgment. It is common for the aged to feel alienated and isolated in modern times due to young adults in their families moving away for work and education. Older people often long to see their children which often leads to depression. Depression is common in older people but it is not necessarily normal. Despite late-life depression affecting 65 million Americans aged 65 and above, only 10 percent get proper treatment. Depression also affects older people more severely than it affects younger people due to the fact that depression goes along with other mental and physical illnesses. One study showed how older people in nursing homes who have depression along with physical illness are more likely to die. Depression also has been linked with an increased risk of death after a heart attack. Isolation, insomnia, loss of loved ones all contribute to a higher risk of depression.

It is important to take care of the elderly in our homes in order to keep them happy during their last years of life. It is important to be kind and thoughtful towards them to make sure that they feel loved and cared for. Older people have taken care of us and have raised us as well and it is important that they can depend on us during their last stretch of life.

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