My grandfather passed away last week. He was 99 years old and lived a full life. He was adamant about being called Papa, as he was too cool to be called Grandpa. He out lived two wives, had children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren. He worked hard and saved very well. He was retired more years than he worked! He loved being physically active - square dancing and walking, conquering his word searches, tinkering using his hands, and gardening. He even drove up until 18 months before his passing. And his mind was sharp up until his last year. He was our poster child for brain health!
Papa was diagnosed with renal disease 8 years ago. He was told that if he didn't have dialysis that he would pass in 6 months. Eight years later, he was still walking, telling jokes, and making passes at the ladies. However, in the last week of of his life, he said to us, “I’m ready for Jesus to take my hand.” No event had occurred, no worsening...
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: