Mental Health Treatment for Seniors

Taking care of your mental health is just as important when you’re a senior as it is during all other stages of your life. Oak Street Health offers counseling services to help you address any challenges you’re facing, or if you’re interested in regular counseling that’s covered by Medicare. Read on to see your options.

Elderly Mental Health Risk Factors

Oak Street Health mental health professionals understand that as you age, life changes. Some struggles that older adults might face include:

  • Finding it more difficult to get around or maintain independence
  • Dealing with a chronic health condition such as heart disease, diabetes, or cancer
  • Worrying about money after retirement
  • Struggling to get a good night’s sleep

Losing a loved one, which can bring on significant grief All of this can lead to common mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, which is why Oak Street Health focuses on offering a variety of mental health services for our Medicare patients.

Senior Mental Health Services

Other common mental health disorders Oak Street Health professionals treat among the elderly include:

  • Anxiety
  • Phobias
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Eating disorders
  • Sleeping disorder

What Are Symptoms of Depression?

We often associate depression with sadness, but older adults with depression may seem grumpy, tired, or confused rather than sad. Common symptoms of depression include:

  • Feeling hopeless or pessimistic
  • Feeling guilty or helpless, or having low self-worth
  • Having little interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Low energy
  • Difficulty getting to sleep or trouble with oversleeping
  • Appetite and/or weight changes
  • Restlessness or irritability
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

What Are Common Treatments for Depression?

Many people don’t realize that they’re depressed—or that it’s possible to feel better. Depression is not an inevitable part of aging. If you’re experiencing any symptoms of depression, Oak Street Health offers counseling that can help you work through your feelings and learn new ways of thinking and acting.

In some cases, medications such as antidepressants can work well to treat depression. While some symptoms usually begin to improve within a week or two, they can take several weeks to work fully.

Mental health disorders can actually make physical health disorders worse, so mental and behavioral health issues should be taken seriously for people of all ages. The better your mental health is, the easier it is to handle stressful situations, make good decisions, and form meaningful relationships with others.

How Counseling Can Improve Mental Health

Counseling is helpful for more than depression in older adults. Whether you feel like you’ve lost a sense of purpose after retiring, are struggling with chronic pain, or are coping with feelings that just seem overwhelming at times, working with a counselor or therapist can help you invest in mental health treatment and make positive changes in your life.

This can be especially effective for some people who have anxiety disorders, substance abuse problems, difficulty with stress, and more.

Self-Care Strategies for Better Mental Health

Keeping your mental health in tip-top shape is something you can also work on at home. Try these three tips that will help you feel your best.

  • Sleep soundly. For better sleep, practice progressive relaxation. Focus on one muscle group at a time, slowly tensing and then relaxing it, until you drift off.
  • Stay fit. Make time throughout the day to move your body. Walk around the block, dance in the living room, or find a fitness class to attend. Remember, some exercise is better than none at all.
  • Seek connection. We are social creatures who need to be around other humans. Set up a regular phone date with a friend who lives far away. You’ll have something to look forward to and feel more connected.
The information provided above will be used by Oak Street Health to contact you to schedule an appointment. Learn more about how Oak Street Health uses your information.

Better Mental Health Is Possible

When you make your mental health a top priority, you boost your enjoyment of the everyday. Don’t be afraid to make an appointment for mental health services at Oak Street Health if you’re just not feeling your best. We have many resources available to improve your mood, your coping skills, and your quality of life.