“Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give-up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.”
In 2011 census, the 60+ population in India accounted for 8.6% of the population, roughly 103 million elderly people. Growing at around 3% annually, the number will rise to 319 million in 2050 (triple).
Elderly people are highly prone to mental morbidities due to aging of the brain, problems associated with physical health, cerebral- pathology, or socio-economic factors such as :
- Breakdown of family support systems.
- Decrease in socio- economic independence.
Individuals in Middle or Senior ages can tend to be withdrawn, have trouble in understanding and expressing, disoriented, forgetful, and highly resistant to change. Commonly found mental mental disorders disorders in elderly can be:
- Mood disorder.
- Anxiety disorder
- Drug and alcohol abuse disorder
Can these issues be prevented?
Research has revealed a number of factors that may be able to prevent or delay the onset of dementia in some people. For example, studies have shown that people who maintain tight control over their glucose levels tend to score better on tests of cognitive function than those with poorly controlled diabetes. Several studies also have suggested that people who engage in intellectually stimulating activities, such as social interactions, chess, crossword puzzles, and playing a musical instrument, significantly lower their risk of developing neuro and cognitive issues.
Scientists believe mental activities may stimulate the brain in a way that increases the person's "cognitive reserve" - the ability to cope with or compensate for the pathologic changes associated with dementia.
To ensure that elder individuals lives their senior years in safety, dignity, and maintain their quality of living, both physical and mental health is vital and necessary. Psychological and emotional support to elderly can go a long way.
It is extremely important for those people who have the responsibility of taking care of their aged family members (like their parents or relatives), to have a good amount of awareness about the various needs and requirements of the elders. VIMHANS offers a multi disciplinary comprehensive approach in form of a team of Psychiatrist, psychologist, neurologist and rehab therapist for better care.