This week’s blog looks at a topic that has sparked my interest in the last few weeks.  I have had the opportunity to meet some wonderful older ladies all aged over 70 years old.

Their own physical health maybe a concern and a daily worry but what I found out was mental health and wellbeing for older people is not addressed as much as it should be.

Here are their stories:

The first lady was very open about her struggle, her outlook could change by the hour.  She was happy, sad and confused which is exhausting for her mind. She used fly away comments such as ‘I’m useless’ or ‘Just leave me to go…’

I felt there was true meaning to her comments and she did want help but her pride gets in the way.

The second lady was a selective mute, she was in pain and didn’t want to interact with the world anymore.  However, I saw an occasional smile and spark. I think she felt like she was ignored so chose to remain silent.

The third lady took everything in her stride, she was witty and fun to talk too. Again, like the first lady she had her moments where she used phases such as ‘useless’ and ‘stupid’

Growing older can be a time of uncertainty, poor health and reflection on life.

The Mental Health Foundation in partnership with Age Concern state 5 key factors that affect mental health in older age

  • Participation in meaningful activities
  • Relationships
  • Poverty
  • Physical health
  • Discrimination

These 5 factors can create risks to becoming depressed.  If your physical health is poor you are less likely to feel able to participate in activities. Becoming isolated and staying indoors can make it more difficult to find help and have access to health and social care.

Age UK use the strap line “Its not just your age”, it’s important to recognise that you may need help and why, this could be isolation after retirement, bereavement, becoming a carer for your loved one and money issues.

#WorldMentalHealthDay is on the 10 October 2020 and the theme this year is “Mental Health for All” – if you have an older person in your life take the time to ask how they are feeling.  It could make the difference to them keeping well and happy rather than isolated and depressed