Senior Mental Health and the Pandemic

It’s no secret the pandemic transformed all of our lives. In March 2020, the world turned on its head as it tried to stop the spread and flatten the curve. 

This sudden change brought with it a whole new set of challenges. Mental health issues for many people. Some people also experienced anxiety, unease, and general worry about the future. 

COVID-19 is a deadly disease that can affect anyone of any age, but the effects are most severe in the older generation. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the virus’s effects get worse the older you are, with those 85 and above the most likely to get sick — and, unfortunately, the most likely to die. 

Many older people have struggled with mental health issues since the pandemic. An October 2020 StudyFor example, nearly half of seniors believe that the stress caused by the pandemic has had an adverse effect on their mental health. What’s more, one in four seniors reports that the virus has made them anxious or depressed. 

Senior Mental Health: Depression and the Pandemic 

While older people are typically less likely to react to stress and more able to control their emotions than their younger counterparts, the pandemic’s scale has had a tremendous impact on many seniors’ well-being.   

With many people sheltering in place — and many folks living in senior care facilities unable to see their family members and friends — feelings of isolation compounded for a number of people in this group.  

Perhaps unsurprisingly, seniors who indicated that their Physical health was either “fair” or “poor” were the most likely to say that their mental health had suffered due to the pandemic. 

Unfortunately, there’s a tendency among this older group to Avoid going to therapy. Seniors are less likely to believe therapy is a good idea because they were raised in a way that made them humble. Others believe that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, so there’s not much of a point to even giving it a try. 

We are all humans. Change, evolve, and grow over time. Seniors who suffer from depression caused by the pandemic might be hesitant about seeking therapy. However, those who do seek therapy are more likely to benefit in many ways.  

Therapy for Seniors: Benefits 

Therapy can help seniors find a greater sense of purpose in their later decades. This makes it easier to get out of bed in the morning because there’s something to accomplish each and every day — and you get a better night’s sleepYou can also get it.  

Therapy can help seniors to understand themselves better. You will be able to live in harmony with your body by becoming more in touch with it. Present momentYou can explore a constantly-evolving version you.  

Therapists can also help clients with older clients to make the most out of their lives.  

  • Positive changes can be made in your life. Just because a client is in their golden years doesn’t mean it all has to be downhill from here on out. The best might be yet to come. For example, Roberta George published her debut, award-winning novel at the young age of 80. You never know when a new career might be in your client’s future.
  • Be content with your age. As we age, we develop health problems. This is normal life. Instead of assuming that a new diagnosis means the end of the world for seniors, therapists can help them to process it in a healthy manner and take it all in stride. You might convince your clients to see a new condition as a challenge, a test and a learning opportunity, rather than seeing it as the worst thing that could happen.  
  • Loss is not a choice. You will likely experience the death of close friends and family members if you live long enough. While the grieving process is never easy, a therapist can help seniors process death and overcome losses in a healthy way — instead of dwelling on it and getting depressed.
  • Find solutions to deep-seated issues Not all seniors have solved all their problems. A client might have been in a fight decades ago with their sibling, but never made amends. This is where therapists can help. They work with seniors to address issues from the past that are still affecting their lives today. 

As a Therapist, Elderly depression can be treated 

As you can see, senior mental healthcare services can have a profound effect on older generations. They can help them overcome depression and live happy, fulfilling lives.  

Here are some tips to help you incorporate or expand senior mental health services into your practice.

1. Be calm, patient, understanding

While you shouldn’t, Always be calm, patient, and understanding with your clients, it’s perhaps even more important when you’re dealing with senior mental health issues. Many seniors are reluctant to seek therapy. Engaging a therapist early on is a crucial step for many senior clients. You should be as compassionate and understanding as possible to make your senior clients feel at ease and at home.

2. 2.

Many seniors struggle with feelings of isolation — a condition that’s only been compounded by the pandemic. Encourage seniors to get more social. Whether that’s getting involved with the local library, joining a seniors bowling league, or even volunteering at a local nonprofit, social activities can have a profoundly positive impact on senior mental health.

3. Think outside of the box

Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and come up creative solutions. For example, Art therapy can help those struggling with depression while stimulating the brain. You might encourage seniors to adopt a dog or give them a gift. Pet therapy a try. 

To learn more about how to better understand senior clients and the issues that they face, visit Check this out. 

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