Mental Health Awareness Month at The Fremont

Mental Health Awareness Month was originally celebrated in 1949. That was 73 years ago! The goals of the sponsoring organization, originally the National Committee for Mental Hygiene (now Mental Health America), were to improve attitudes toward mental health/illness, improve services for mental health clients, and promote mental health.

Older adults are more at risk for depression because they have a lack of autonomy and loss of purpose. They no longer have a job to go to everyday or they must start relying on others for things they used to be able to do on their own. Not having family and friends around like they did when younger can also lead to feelings of isolation and depression.

Potential signs of mental health distress in seniors may include lack of appetite, periods of sleeping more, increase in confusion, or change in mental status. These can all be signs of depression. A senior can also have a lack of motivation to participate in activities and show increased fatigue.

It is important to attend to mental health just like you would physical health. Having mental health concerns can also lead to physical health concerns. The lack of appetite can affect nutrition, which then leads to various other medical concerns. Having fatigue and a lack of motivation can lead to muscle atrophy and cause a reduction in physical independence.

At The Fremont Senior Living Springfield, MO we understand depression is a treatable condition like diabetes or hypertension. Don’t settle for being depressed at any age! It is not a normal part of getting older. A primary care physician or mental health specialist can address chronic feelings of sadness.