When it comes to psychiatric illnesses in seniors, it is easy to believe that every story will have a tragic ending. But it doesn’t have to be like this. Even for those that suffer from more severe and incurable illnesses, like Alzheimer’s disease, there can be a right way to approach treatment and care that can help them to live a better life.
Dementia is not the only form of psychiatric illness out there. Sometimes, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, schizophrenia, or other severe mental illnesses can have an impact on the quality of life that your elderly loved one is experiencing. These might be previously known, diagnosed issues–but not always. Because they can be so devastating to your loved one and those around them, it’s important to work closely with a doctor to make sure that your loved one’s needs are well known and being handled professionally.
Complicating this issue, being moved unwillingly to a new location can exacerbate psychiatric issues and dementia. Studies have shown that when someone in the early stages of Alzheimer’s is relocated to a new place, including assisted living facilities or nursing homes, the symptoms become much worse. Sometimes these things get better before they get worse again, but oftentimes they do not. Relocating elderly individuals that don’t absolutely need to be can be needlessly dangerous.
Sadly, this happens far more often than it should. It has become a standard practice to move individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia into a nursing home. Sometimes this is the right move, but not as often as you might think, especially when the above information is taken into account. Sometimes all that is needed is a few changes around the house and a caregiver providing supervision when you can’t be there to assist. This is one of the reasons why in-home care has grown in popularity over the last several years–it helps families to stay united while providing a superior level of care to the senior in need. And all of that tends to happen at a fraction of the price that a nursing home would cost.
Do you have a loved one battling some sort of mental illness. A nursing home might be the best bet, but usually the issue is not that easily resolved. Sometimes a more comprehensive and thoughtful approach is needed to help your loved one get the best care that they can possibly find. In fact, when you are better able to meet the needs of a loved one–whether it be psychiatric, physical, or social needs–their quality of life and happiness tends to drastically improve. That’s the overall goal of senior care, right?
And it’s our goal, too. If this sounds like something that you’d like to learn more about, please feel free to give us a call. One of our trained caregivers would love to answer your questions during a free consultation. You might be surprised that the best care for a loved one isn’t as complicated or as expensive as you had expected it to be.