August 31, 2022
Studies have shown that an estimated 20% of people aged 55 and older have some type of mental health concern, and the most common conditions include anxiety, cognitive impairments and mood disorders. It is essential to know that mental health concerns are not a normal part of aging and can lead to impaired physical and social functioning.
Identifying physical illness can be easy for many seniors, but identifying certain types of mental illness can be challenging. Just like being physically active and fit, staying mentally active and fit is just as crucial at every age and stage of life.
How Aegis Therapies Can Help
Aegis’ Older Adult Model of Care reminds us that interventions to address mental health conditions should include Restoration, Compensation and Adaptation to promote changes and independence.
• Occupational therapy is vital in raising awareness to reduce occupational deprivation and promote engagement. OT can help determine the cognition level and the best strategies for caregivers to help support their loved ones in the safest environment possible. The Allen Cognitive Assessment and collaboration with physicians, patients and caregivers can help determine the best strategies.
• Speech therapy treatment focuses on communication assessments to determine the underlying impairment, including hearing and voice assessments. Speech therapists work on adaptations of communication skills, so individuals have the ability and tools to stay in touch with loved ones.
• Physical therapy focuses on pain management, fall prevention and improved mobility to allow people to participate in all the activities that support health. PT can establish an exercise routine including yoga, meditation and low-impact strength training to reduce anxiety and depression and restore prior levels of fitness.
What To Expect
Through these different approaches, people with mental health conditions can participate in their daily care, engage in meaningful activities and reduce behavior problems. While the mental health disorder may not disappear, these strategies can help lessen the burden for the person involved and the caregiver.