Almost half of all Canadians suffer from mental health issues (Benefits Canada); but, the important question here is why aren’t we talking about the mental health of older adults? On this World Mental Health Day, Ohana Care wanted to bring the spotlight back on Gen X and Baby Boomers. Specifically, the older adults that are 55+, as they’re the least likely to discuss their mental health.
In this article, we discuss three important things you should know about the mental health of older adults.
Signs of Mental Illness
Aging can be an overwhelming process for anyone. Being an older adult can come with its fair share of grief, loss, loneliness, isolation, and other overwhelming feelings. Older adults are often overlooked or dismissed when it comes to mental health, partially because they seldomly bring it up themselves. Look for these signs that something is not quite right. Because, they could be indicators of mental health issues, or other medical issues.
Talking About Mental Health with A Loved One
If you notice some of the signs mentioned above, the best way to get involved is always to talk about it with your parent or friend. We get it. Talking about your mental health, especially with a parent, can seem awkward. But it gets easier with practice and consistency. Here are some tips on how to talk to a loved one about mental health.
Because everyone is different, there is no perfect guide on how to talk about mental health. For that reason, adapt to what feels right between you and your loved one. Above all, just get started. Instead of focusing on mental health, you can act on small, tangible tasks until you build up the confidence to have a nurturing conversation.
What to Do When the “Talk” Happens
Lastly, if your loved one opens up to you about their mental health, here are some tips to make it easy for them to continue talking about it.
Mental health is your health. If the mind is healthy, ageing can be an easy part of this thing we call life. Supporting the mental health older adults and our loved ones shows them they’re not alone and that they are loved. We hope this article can help you get a conversation started; it will be a worthwhile journey.