How to Destigmatize Mental Health in the Vintage Population

It’s no secret that our harbored stigmatization and misinformation around mental health started generations ago. That means that folks in the vintage population, aka Baby Boomers, may still be holding onto these misconceptions. This creates a barrier for them to receive the services they may need. As the numbers in cases of depression, anxiety, and suicide rise in this generation, various behavioral patterns and emotional reactions could be managed with better mental health. This poses the problem of how we accomplish this!

One way to increase the utilization of mental health services is through the destigmatization of using them. 

As a healthcare provider or caregiver, you can help your patient or loved one by doing the following actions:

  1. Make Mental Health Part of the Conversation - There’s a difference when mental health is brought up at the doctor's office, once, pertaining to a specific issue which can lead to shame... versus having positive mental health be...
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Navigating Geriatric Depression: Guide for Nursing Homes

When working with the vintage population, especially individuals with dementia, you often will see signs of geriatric depression. Below is a guide to navigating geriatric depression and creating a positive environment that is supportive to individuals dealing with depressive symptoms. 

 

Start by ruling out medical conditions...

According to the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM-V), we are required to rule out medical conditions before diagnosing a mental condition; medical conditions can cause/exacerbate mental conditions and vice versa.

From a clinician’s standpoint, refer your resident to a physician first for a full physical with a blood work-up and urinalysis.

 

Screening Residents for Signs & Symptoms

Some of these you may be able to screen and notice on your own but others you may need to refer the resident to a physician for a diagnosis. 

 

Screen for Common Health Issues that Affect Mood

  • Electrolyte imbalances
  • Dehydration
  • Malnutrition
  • ...
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Noticing Geriatric Depression: Guide for Caregivers

Taking care of a loved one who is already dealing with a neurological disorder is challenging. Spotting the signs of additional concerns like geriatric depression can be even more tricky.

You’re trying your best to navigate their new normal. That is why we created a list to help you catch onto signs that point to geriatric depression which can affect physical, mental and emotional health, and cognitive functioning. If you suspect risk, contact a healthcare professional for further diagnosis and support.

 

Risk Factors for Geriatric Depression

Causes

  • Loneliness/isolation
  • Reduced sense of purpose
  • Health problems
  • Medications
  • Fears
  • Recent bereavement
  • Losses

Loss

  • Independence
  • Mobility
  • Health
  • Career
  • A loved one

Considering Possible Chemical Imbalance in Brain

  • Neurotransmitters that play key roles in depression are serotonin and norepinephrine
  • Lack of these neurotransmitters cause depressive symptoms

 

Signs and Symptoms

Cognitive Changes

  • Impaired concentration
  • ...
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