Mental Health in Older Adults

Elaine Whitford News

Rob Pollock, MSW, LCSW was our guest presenter for November's Lunch and Learn. Rob has over 30 years’ experience in the mental health field and explained the difference between normal emotions related to getting older and those which may be symptomatic of harmful illnesses. This distinction is important, as untreated mental health disorders in older adults can lead to diminished functioning, substance abuse, poor quality of life, and increased mortality.

Mental illness in the elderly in an unrecognized problem.  A mental illness is a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feeling or mood.  Such conditions may affect someone’s ability to relate to others and function each day.  Each person will have different experiences, even people with the same diagnosis.

Approximately one in five older adults experiences mental health concerns that are not a normal part of aging. Many seniors experience loss, grief and painful emotions related to adjusting to on-going changes in their lives. The most common concerns are anxiety and depression. The worst part is that older adults often do not seek or receive the help they need. Undiagnosed and untreated, mental health illnesses have serious implications for older adults and their loved ones.

When older adults get the help they need, it leads to good mental health that contributes greatly to an overall feeling of well-being. Healthy older adults can continue to thrive and enjoy life!

For more on Rob's presentation, enjoy the powerpoint below. 

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Lunch and Learns are held throughout the year and sponsored by The Center for Volunteer Caregiving, Resources for Seniors, Inc., and Wake County Community Resource Connections for Aging and Disabilities.

Make plans now to attend the March 13, 2018 Lunch and Learn