by Dr. Simi Paknikar on  October 9, 2013 at 11:53 AM Health In Focus
World Mental Health Day 2013
The World Mental Health Day is observed every year on the 10th of October. The theme for this year is "Mental health and older adults".

With improvements in health care, the life expectancy has increased. People are living longer lives; at the same time, it is necessary to ensure that these added years are a blessing both to the individuals as well as their loved ones. It is important to take care of the mental health of the elderly to ensure good quality of life.

Mental problems occur commonly in the geriatric population. Conditions like depression could arise due to loneliness and sometimes lack of the productive lives and independence the senior citizens experienced during their younger days. These individuals also have to experience the passing away of their close friends and relatives, sometimes even partners. Anxiety may crop up even while doing daily activities. These, if diagnosed early and treated with available medications, could result in a happy old age.

Perhaps a more serious condition that affects these individuals is dementia or forgetfulness. If not kept under constant observation, the individual could wander off and not realize the way back home.

Some of the mental health problems arise due to lifestyles during the younger age. Thus, leading a healthy, active and happy life right from the younger days could prevent these problems later in life. Maltreatment could also result in some of these mental health problems.

If you are a senior citizen, here are some tips to live a happier life:

Spend time with a lot of people around you. It could be with youngsters or with people your age. Do not consider that others may not find spending time with you interesting. After all, everybody needs company.

Share your knowledge and experiences with others. This is probably something that you have loads of and would be of great benefit to others.

Take good care of your health. Physical health can affect mental health and vise versa. Be as active as you can. This way, you can further push away diseases that can interfere with your independence. Make sure you keep your diabetes and high blood pressure under control by taking regular medications if necessary.

If you feel that you are suffering from a mental health problem, reach out for help.

Source: Medindia

Most Popular on Medindia