It is very important that those around the elderly must be vigilant to any kind of symptoms of psychological problems. Many of these symptoms can reveal that the elderly is suffering from a range of psychological problems and require the assistance of a professional psychologist. Some of these bad conditions are:
1. Poor Hygiene
If a person stops taking good care of him or herself, as long as they have no physical restrictions, it is a symptom of apathy which could result to depression.
2. Strange, Extreme And Extended Fatigue
This is one of the most popular signs of depression with common symptoms such as headaches.
3. Unconcern And Apathy
If an elderly is showing little concern in anything that he or she is passionate about, then there is the tendency that he or she is passing through depression.
4. Imbalances In Sleep Timing
Even though, drowsiness may occur for so many reasons, yet, one of the reasons is insomnia which could arise as a result of anxiety.
5. Weight Changes
Whether you are adding too much weight or loosing too much weight within a short period of time, it could be as a result of experiencing bad psychological trauma.
How To Motivate An Elderly Or Aged Person To Consult A Psychologist
One of the major obstacles that created the breach between the elderly and the psychologist is the stigma that surrounds the psychologist which many of them still hold on to; the psychologist is only meant for crazy people. This myth still holds sway in many sectors of our society. There are still many rejections at the suggestion of visiting the psychologist. There are lots of cases most especially among the aged that prefer to suffer in silence by refusing to seek help. The situation then becomes severe and could require urgent medication.
So, if a family member, caregiver or friend is aware that an aged person needs therapy psychologically but is unwilling to visit a psychologist, motivate him or her and help to contact a psychologist. This can be done in various ways:
1. Inform the person that the psychologist is a professional just like a dentist, nurse or physiotherapist, and the only thing the psychologist will do is to help him/her improve his/her health and not to add to the problem.
2. Try to follow him/her to the first meeting with the psychologist. Make sure the first step is taken with someone they trust assuring them peace of mind and safety.
3. It is very important to erase from your mind the idea that psychologists only attend to patients with severe or chronic psychological problems. Based on this, you can site an example about people from their environment who counted the need to go and solve a problem not necessarily serious and got great and expected results.
4. In your environment, if there is somebody that has visited a psychologist, you can speak with the person or better still allow the person to follow the aged person to the health professional for the first appointment. This will make it much easier for you to boost his/her confidence since you have helped someone closer to you instead of just asking for an appointment with a stranger.
5. If the aged person requires to visit the psychologist because of a disease, initially, he can visit a group of patients that have the same health problem. From there, he/she can get the contact of a psychologist and meet other people that have the same pathology and have benefited from the therapy psychologically.
6. The same case is applicable to family members or caregivers of the aged person that might require rest, psychological advice or relief more so that they are much more concerned about the welfare of their patient than their charges and personal comfort.
Summarily, knowing some of the warning signs of psychological problems in the aged means one can approach him/her, communicate frankly and affectionately and render support.