Many seniors cope very well with stress, loss and other challenges, but one in five seniors will experience mental health problems that interfere with life. Unfortunately, many seniors never seek the help they need- it’s time for a change:
- Growing older doesn’t mean feeling sad or growing ‘senile’.
- Being a senior is different from how it used to be. Seniors now have better health and live longer.
- We now know that brains are not prewired to fail, and that depression and senility are not usual parts of aging. Rather, research shows self-rated happiness increases with each decade, despite losses or challenges associated with aging. Seniors have higher ratings of their own happiness than other population groups.
- Some mental processes such as those involved in empathy, emotional stability and complex decision-making actually improve with age.
- Aging is cause to celebrate – each year is another chance to savour and enjoy these advantages. And, having a healthy mental outlook might be one of the most important ingredients to living longer!
- Some seniors do develop mental health issues and need professional help. Unfortunately, due to the stigma around mental illness, few seniors seek the treatment they need. Our culture is changing, and it is becoming easier for people to talk about mental illness.
- It’s important to know that like physical illnesses, mental illnesses are treatable disorders and many will improve or completely resolve.