Alert
Close

Think you know AARP? What you don't know about us may surprise you. Discover all the 'Real Possibilities'

Most Popular

Viewed

Commented

Providing Care

Assessing an Older Adult’s Mental Health Needs

Change in mood or behavior can signal a serious matter

Article Highlights

  • Depression vs. Dementia
  • Know the best practices and treatments
  • Don't ignore remarks about suicide
  •  Get your loved one evaluated and treated. Social workers at the area agency on aging can conduct a mini mental status exam. To find your local agency, click here. Or consult a geriatric psychiatrist, a doctor trained to recognize and treat mental illnesses in older people. Visit the Geriatric Mental Health Foundation’s website to find a geriatric psychiatrist near you.


Preventing Suicide

Older Americans are more likely to die by suicide than any other population in the country. Those suffering from depression are at greatest risk. Do not ignore remarks about suicide, especially if there’s a history of suicide in your family. Report them to your loved one’s doctor, and encourage your relative to seek treatment immediately. Firearms can pose an increased risk to suicidal older adults. If there are firearms in the home, remove them as soon as possible. For more advice, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255. All calls are confidential.

Lastly, if you don’t live nearby ask friends and neighbors to look in on your loved one more often. Also, work with the area agency on aging to develop a support plan for this person.

Maintaining Your Mental Health
You may find that caring for a loved one takes a toll on your own mental health. Make a point of keeping stress in check. Joining a caregiver support group can help.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Take Care
Blog

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Grandson (8-9) whispering to grandfather, close-up

Members save on hearing care with the AARP® Hearing Care Program provided by HearUSA.

AARP Discounts on ADT Companion Services

Members save 20% off installation of any NEW ADT Personal Emergency Response System.

Movies Unlimited

Members save 10% on purchases of DVDs & Blu-ray discs with Movies Unlimited.

Caregiving walking

Caregiving can be a lonely journey, but AARP offers resources that can help.

Featured
Groups

Caregiving

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started caregiving? Discuss

Caregivers

Talk to other caregivers who are likely facing similar situations to yours. Join