Growing Old Happy, Wednesday 6 February 2019

February! As we move into the second month of the year, we are thinking about how quickly time can pass.   For many, the start of a new year is a time to reflect on time itself and, of course, our own years of life.

Though growing old is a natural process that we all know to expect, it is important to be aware of common mental health risks that can come with advancing age.  For example, experts warn that men ages 65 and older show the highest incidence of suicide than any other age group.*

Here at HDRF we are invested in making sure everybody has the information and resources to maximize mental health, and we would like to share some tips and research with you.

One of the largest factors affecting mental health in older adults is the existence of a strong support system and community.

For older adults, remember to:

  • Reach out to loved ones for support when you need it
  • Try to form social groups with friends
  • If you’re able, make a point of seeing and interacting with others throughout your day-to-day life
  • If you are worried about your mental health, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help

For younger people with aging loved ones, remember to:

  • Regularly call or visit your loved one
  • Ask them about their life just as much as you share about yours
  • Offer resources and make it known that you are there for them
  • If you are worried about their mental health, talk to them and see what they need

It is important to note that depression and depressive symptoms – though highly prevalent in older populations  — are in no way an inevitable part of aging.  Indeed, 80% of cases of depression in elderly patients are treatable.*

Unfortunately, we know that depression is widely under treated or even untreated in senior citizens.*  As with any age group, the first step to taking good care of your mind is being aware of when or if you need help, and not being afraid to reach out.

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