As your loved one ages, you may notice a change in their mood, behavior, personality, or abilities. They may mention they aren’t sleeping well or you may notice a distant look on their face. Maybe your loved one hasn’t said out loud that something is wrong, but you’ve just felt like something is off.
You want what’s best for your loved one, but as they age, it can be hard to figure out exactly what that is.
South Shore Hospital offers senior care that includes their mental health and emotional well-being — right here in your own neighborhood. You are not alone in caring for your elderly parent or loved one — South Shore is here to help.
Your loved one may benefit from senior mental health care if they are experiencing:
- Crying spells
- Disregard for personal appearance
- Forgetfulness or confusion
- Insomnia or too much sleep
- Poor appetite or overeating
- Sad or blank look on face
- Social isolation
- Thoughts of suicide
Complete primary care services, from routine check-ups and preventive care at five affiliated neighborhood clinics and affiliated physicians.
Excellent and personable physicians, nurses, and professional staff. Transportation Services for seniors and disabled patients at affiliated clinics and the hospital.
Senior Mental Health Care Frequently Asked Questions
What is senior mental health care?
Senior mental health care includes a range of services specifically aimed at older adults.
This can include:
- One on one meetings with psychiatrists or therapists
- Group therapy with other seniors struggling with similar problems
- Community activities like our Silver Eagles Activity and Walking Club
- Educational programs designed to support mental wellness and coping strategies
Why is mental health care important for seniors?
We all hope our family members will enjoy “the golden years.” But, as people age, they may experience the loss of loved ones and the stress that goes with losing physical and mental abilities.
A changing lifestyle and increased physical challenges can lead to sadness and withdrawal. However, persistent personality changes or unusual behavior may indicate your loved one is suffering from a mental illness, such as depression.
Senior mental health care meets your loved one where they are, focusing on quality of life and coping skills. This can help them live more comfortably, happily, and confidently.
Who should receive senior mental health care?
All seniors can benefit from mental health care, and South Shore works with older adults at all stages in their lives.
Whether your loved one has recently experienced the loss of a friend, a recent shift in mood, or is just looking for community — South Shore Senior Care is here.
Senior Mental Health Needs By The Numbers
- 1 in 5 older adults suffer from a mental or neurological disorder.
- While 280 million adults worldwide experience depression — and older adults have a higher risk — it is not a normal part of aging and can be treated with the right support.
- People who live to be 65 years old are expected to live on average almost 20 more years — mental health support can play a key role in the quality of those years.
Senior Care Services At South Shore Hospital
Free, Confidential Initial Consultation
The first thing our South Shore team will do is a very thorough evaluation to help determine what’s causing behavioral or mental changes in your loved one.
Determining A Treatment Plan
Once we understand what’s going on mentally, physically, emotionally, and medically, we can help you and your loved one figure out what the best next steps are.
One next step might be in-patient care (also called in-patient hospitalization). At South Shore, our team will create a supportive environment with 24-hour nursing care to help ensure the well-being of your loved one. Referrals may be made by physicians, psychologists, social service agencies, family members, or friends.
It may also be that your loved one needs outpatient care, like regular therapy sessions. Our South Shore team can connect your loved one to compassionate, expert mental health resources.
Your loved ones’ needs don’t end when they leave South Shore Hospital. To ensure that improvements are long-lasting, our team will create a plan for care for your loved one’s needs.
Management Of Their Medical Needs
Our nurses and doctors can help with all aspects of a person’s life — including any physical or medical needs your loved one is struggling with as well.
Social Services Support
Sometimes, your loved one may need additional support at home, or you may need additional support as their caregiver. Our social services team can make referrals for home care, physical therapy, or other community services. Learn more about how social services can help your family.
Your loved one might benefit from being surrounded by other people going through the same things they are. South Shore organizes different groups for seniors to connect like the Silver Eagles Activity and Walking Club.
For more information or to schedule a free consultation, call Senior Care & Senior Mental Health Care at 773-356-5425. Our staff is available 24 hours a day. All information is completely confidential.
The Role of Caregivers
At South Shore Hospital, we know that caregivers play a big role in many seniors’ lives. With your care and your company, you give your loved one a constant, comforting presence as they age.
As a caregiver, we want to make sure you have the resources and support to care not only for your loved one — but for yourself as well.
How To Support Your Loved One
Caring for a loved one is no easy task. You may be faced with challenges you weren’t expecting or aren’t entirely sure how to handle.
If your loved one is suffering from an emotional, mental, or behavioral illness, here are some ways you can help and support them.
Caring For A Loved One With Depression
- Encourage them to do the activities or hobbies they love. Ask them to show you how to do one of their favorite activities.
- Help them feel more at ease about getting professional or medical support. Let them know their feelings are valid, and that these tools can help them feel better.
- Just be there. Sometimes the best thing you can do is be there for them.
Caring For A Loved One With Anxiety
- Listen to their fears and anxieties. Don’t tell your loved one not to worry, try to help them find ways to work through their fears.
- Help them manage their stress with coping strategies like breathing exercises or physical activity.
- Let them know professional support like therapy could help them with their anxiety.
Find Community With Family Support Groups
When one person in the family suffers from a mental or emotional illness, everyone else in the family is affected. It’s normal to feel sad, angry, or frustrated with your loved one and their condition.
We understand this and encourage family members to express their feelings and learn new ways to cope with frustrations. We encourage them to participate in their loved one’s treatment process. Our family support groups help to re-establish healthy communication channels that will lead to stronger family ties and happier lives.
Caregiver Self-Care Tips
As a caregiver, you might find yourself investing all of your time and energy into your loved one’s care — and forgetting to take time for yourself.
Here are a few ways to help you be your best self for you — and your loved one:
- Get moving: Just a few minutes of exercise or a walk outside can help boost your mood.
- Ask for help: It can be tough to say you need more help, but it can also lighten your load.
- Talk to someone: Whether it’s a friend, family member, or a therapist, keeping your thoughts bottled up can impact your ability to care for your loved one.
- Meditate: There are many simple, short meditations you can find online to help center and ground your thoughts.
- Join a support group: Connecting with people going through similar experiences can help you know you’re not alone.
By taking time for yourself, you can ensure that you have the ability and the support to show up for your loved one. Caregiving is often a difficult — and thankless — task, but with simple self-care strategies, you can know you’re being cared for too.