As of 2016, over 1.8 million seniors were living with mental health issues in Canada.
As of July in 2015, and for the first time ever Canada, the nation had more people over the age of 65 than under the age of 15. By 2030, 25% of the Canadian population will be over the age of 65. The era is being labelled as the “Silver Tsunami”.
Depression is one of the most common mental health problems amongst seniors. Mental health issues can often go unrecognized or undiagnosed in this demographic.
For example, depression is often confused with dementia or communication issues within the senior group.
The loss of hearing, mobility changes due to aging, and other common symptoms growing older can be missed as expressions of depression or medical illnesses.
Natural aging can bring about a whole new set of physical and mental challenges. While the risk of medical illnesses increase, the signs and symptoms of mental health problems can often go undetected. Depression among seniors is most often linked to declining physical function, family stress, greater risk for medical illnesses and reduced recovery from previous illnesses.
According to the Health Care Navigation System, there are 5 principles to promote when treating mental health in seniors.
The most important action to take is to educate yourself on signs and symptoms of depression. There are always trained professionals and caregivers that can help.