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Studies have shown that 2 out of every 10 Americans 55 years old and above deal with problems about their mental health. Out of these people suffering from mental health issues, over 30 percent have yet to be treated. Often, the people responsible for taking care of the elderly, whether they be relatives or caregivers, have no inkling as to the mental state of the people they look after – until it reaches advanced stages when symptoms are undeniable.
One common misconception is that dementia is the only condition that hits seniors with a high probability. However, there are some mental health issues other than dementia that are also quite common among the elderly. Many times, symptoms of mood and anxiety disorders, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and even PTSD aren’t noticed by people who work and live with them daily. And many times, these mental health issues aren’t brought to light.
A dangerous belief people have is that the deterioration of one’s mental capacity is a natural part of aging. While it may be true, thinking of it as “natural” leads to an attitude that may forsake or take for granted the need to have the elderly’s mental health checked from time to time. This is a mistake.
If people who take care of a senior feel or sense something off with how they move or talk, Dr. Curtis Cripe urges them to take them to see a mental health professional as soon as possible.
Dr. Curtis Cripe is the head of research and development at the NTL Group, which specializes in the creation of neuroengineering programs for the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders. For more reads on neurology, go to this page.