Owners' Blog

Encouraging Your Parent to Seek Management of Their Mental Illness

By Hilary and Greg Eldridge

Home Care in Suwanee GA

October 2 through 8 is Mental Illness Awareness Week. This is the ideal opportunity for you to help your parent to evaluate their mental health and pursue the treatment and management that might be right for them. This can be a difficult conversation for you to have with an elderly adult who is not comfortable discussing their mental health concerns or even admitting that they have these concerns. Being willing to confront this situation head-on, however, can help you to be a higher quality caregiver as you encourage them to take care of themselves.

Use these tips to help you encourage your parent to seek management and proper treatment of their mental illness:

• Help them to know the facts. Elderly adults resist seeking treatment and management for their mental health conditions for many reasons, but one common reason is that they think that they should not be dealing with this issue because of their age. They might feel that mental health concerns such as depression are for younger people. Helping them to understand that a large percentage of the elderly population of the United States suffers from mental concerns such as depression and anxiety disorders can relieve some of this embarrassment and reluctance so that they are more willing to ask for help.

• Tell them about your own struggles. If you have suffered from mental health concerns in your adulthood, talk to your aging parent about it. Tell them about what you were dealing with and how you sought out treatment and management assistance. This can further their comfort with the situation and help them to feel less isolated in their situation.

• Show them what they have ahead of them. Help them to focus not on the treatment itself, but the life that they can have when they are able to better manage their condition. Help them to understand that they can be more involved in your life, their grandchildren’s lives, and even their own life when they are honest about what they are going through and seek out the proper management and treatment approaches for their condition. By focusing on the fact that life goes beyond what they are dealing with in the moment, and that treatment or management does not have to take over their life, you can show your loved one that they are more than their condition and that you want them to embrace and enjoy the other aspects of themselves.

If your aging parent has recently been diagnosed with a mental illness and you want to encourage them to manage their condition in the best way possible, home care may be the ideal solution. Having an in-home senior care services provider in the home with your aging parent can help them to feel more confident about their ability to manage their condition and to make the right decisions as they move forward. This can include offering them valuable companionship and emotional support, as well as providing them with effective reminders to help them to stay on track with their treatments and medications to ensure that they get the most benefit from them.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring home care in Suwanee, GA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers, call (678) 430-8511.