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Could Your Elderly Parent be Mentally Ill?

Caregiver in Sun Lakes AZ

Developing a mental illness is not that uncommon among older adults. In fact, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that at least 20 percent of adults over the age of 55 have experienced some type of mental illness. Each person has a different degree of mental illness, some requiring caregivers to assist with everyday tasks, while others can live independently for Caregiver-in-Sun-Lakes-AZmany years.

Depression is the most common type of mental illness among older adults, but there are a wide range of conditions that your loved one may develop as they get older. Being educated on the symptoms, risk factors, and treatment options will give you a better idea of whether or not the senior could have a mental illness.


Risk Factors

Some of the most common factors for those who are at risk for developing a mental illness includes:

  • Types of dementia,  such as Alzheimer’s disease
  • Physical disabilities
  • Long-term health conditions, like cancer or heart disease
  • Health problems that may cause emotional or memory problems, including adrenal or thyroid disease
  • Change in living arrangements
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Side effects of medication
  • Substance or alcohol abuse
  • Malnutrition



There is a fine line between what constitutes as a mental illness and common physical and mental changes that occur with age. Being aware of the following symptoms will better prepare you for the possibility of a mental illness in your elderly parent.

  • Unusual loss of energy, fatigue, or changes in sleep
  • Becoming withdrawn from social interactions and things they used to enjoy doing
  • Disorientation, confusion, or difficulty making decisions or concentrating
  • Loss of memory, especially short-term or recent memory loss
  • Feelings of helplessness, worthlessness, or guilt
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Feeling sad or depressed for more than two weeks
  • Changes in appetite and weight
  • Unexplained physical issues, such as pain, constipation, or aches
  • No longer able to handle finances or work with numbers
  • No longer keeping up on personal appearances
  • Neglecting housework or yardwork

Sadly, many adults have a mental illness that goes undiagnosed. Without getting the proper treatment from their doctor, they will not be able to ward off the symptoms of their illness. In most cases, the physician will prescribe medication to help manage the elder’s symptoms. It may also help to have the elder talk to a medical professional about how they are feeling, such as a therapist. They may be able to offer other suggestions for keeping the elder’s symptoms under control.

If you or an aging loved one are interested in hiring caregiver services in Sun Lakes, AZ or the surrounding areas, please contact the professional team at Devoted Guardians Home Care.  Call today at (800) 699-4781 or (480) 999-3012.


Aaron Sinykin, MBA, CEO

Born and raised in Madison Wisconsin. Graduated from Arizona State University with a BA in Finance in 1999, and Graduated from Arizona State University WP Carey School of Business with an MBA in 2005.

Aaron spent 5 years working for Intel Corporation in Chandler, Arizona right out of college until he ventured off on his own. Aaron has owned and operated successful small businesses for the past 10 years.

Aaron is currently the CEO and owner of Devoted Guardians a Non-Medical In Homecare Agency covering the entire Phoenix valley. Aaron has been CEO since 2012 and running businesses since 2005.

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