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Support the Seniors in Your Life – Clarksville Online

By October 15, 2022Sports events

Nashville, TN – For many, one of the benefits of reaching old age (65 to 84) is to pursue retirement and eventually have more free time.

However, being an older person can also present new challenges that people don’t always take into account. Some of these challenges are the development of physical or chronic health conditions and mental problems or illnesses and decreased social interactions.

The ages leading up to retirement can be harder to navigate due to health issues (cardiovascular disease, hypertension, cancer, etc.) and incredibly isolating due to a lack of social inclusion and stigma.

“At this point in an older person’s life, they are going through a lot of transitions,” says Wally Acevedo, licensed clinical social worker at Centerstone.

Many of these transitions can be life changing, such as older friends suffering from physical or chronic illnesses or death, loss of consistent income or loss of ability. It is becoming more and more difficult to receive adequate care for mental and physical health without challenges being present.

Seniors who receive health care face many other barriers, including inadequate insurance coverage, affordability of care, a shortage of trained geriatric mental health care providers, and a lack of programs and services. inclusive. According to research, it is estimated that up to 63% of seniors with mental health issues do not receive needed services.

As our loved ones may experience difficulties in their next chapter, it is important to know other ways that family and friends can help:

  • Educate others. “Educate your friends and family about mental illness and provide factual information to replace any stigma,” says Acevedo. Try to educate others that mental health should be treated like any other medical issue. Remind others that it can be harmful to label someone with a mental illness – remember that this is a person and their illness does not define them.
  • Advocacy. Reach out to representatives for more inclusive legislation surrounding better insurance coverage for mental health and therapy services for seniors. Try to emphasize the demand for collaborative communication between physical and mental health providers and the growing need for trained geriatric mental and physical health providers.

  • Welfare. Try to keep in touch with your loved ones and take the time to listen to them. Encourage older loved ones to take up hobbies they enjoy or participate in local or online communities, support groups and forums to get more social interaction. “The elderly population needs to be reminded by their loved ones that they are still valuable, talented and strong,” says Acevedo.
  • Standardize processing. Treatment can be helpful to those in need and to others by minimizing symptoms of depression and anxiety. Try talking more openly about daily struggles to help encourage others to seek support and eliminate any shame or stigma associated with therapy or treatment.

Getting older doesn’t mean you matter less. Be there for the seniors in your life and remind them of their value.

If you or someone you know struggles with loneliness or other mental health issues, Centerstone can help. Call 1.877.HOPE123 (1.877.467.3123) for more information about our counseling services.