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Mental Health and the Elderly
Instructor: Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes PhD, LPC-MHSP, LMHC
Normal aging is a gradual process that ushers in some physical decline, such as decreased sensory abilities (e.g., vision and hearing) and decreased pulmonary and immune function
Decline in cognitive capacity with aging is partly preventable
Older persons display flexibility in behavior and attitudes and the ability to grow intellectually and emotionally
Losses with aging include Social status, self-esteem, physical capacities, death of friends and loved ones
Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent mental health disorders in older adults
There are many causes of cognitive impairment besides Alzheimers.
Mild cognitive impairment is not unusual and generally does not meet accepted criteria for Alzheimers Schizophrenia in Late Life
Focus on the person's strengths and how they can remain as independent as possible
Encourage quality sleep, daily routines and proper nutrition
Cognitive behavioral and problem solving therapies have both been found to be effective.
Older persons clear medication from their system more slowly and are more susceptible to side effects of many medications.
Day treatment/drop in centers are available throughout the country for respite care as well as to facilitate interaction and allow caregivers to work
Caregivers often have their own emotional, financial and social needs that need to be addressed when caring for a parent or spouse.
Video by Dr. Dawn Elise Snipes on integrative behavioral health approaches including counseling techniques and skills for improving mental health and reducing mental illness.
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