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Leading U.S. Expert Offers Ten Warning Signs and Symptoms of Mental Health Problems in Elderly
Date:8/3/2009

RESEDA, Calif., Aug. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- As people age, the potential exists for those years to be the most rewarding and fulfilling time of their lives. However, major illness, retirement, the death of a spouse, and a shrinking circle of friends all may, in some cases, contribute to increased levels of stress and depression in the elderly. For that reason the chief of geropsychiatry for the Los Angeles Jewish Home - the largest single-source provider of senior residential housing in the western United States - is offering seniors and their loved ones 10 warning signs that may trigger the need for assistance with mental health issues.

"Though many seniors have developed positive coping skills and emotional maturity, others may experience Alzheimer's disease, addictions, anxiety disorders and depression," said Dr. Nitin Nanda of the Home. "Deteriorating physical health can quickly change a happy retirement into a period of confusion, fear and chronic pain. When disabilities occur later in life, individuals who were involved in working, socializing and traveling may suddenly face lower incomes, reduced mobility, and dependence on caregivers and assistive devices. These changes can have a dramatic effect on seniors' mental and emotional well-being."

As a result of this growing need in the country the Home has unveiled the Auerbach Behavioral Health Unit dedicated to treating depression and other acute psychiatric needs in seniors. The 10-bed voluntary unit incorporates the Jewish Home's nationally acclaimed model of comprehensive, high-quality treatment by attending to the needs of the whole person - mind, body and sprit.

Here are Dr. Nanda's ten signs that show a senior you care about might need help:

  1. Depressed mood or sadness lasting more than two weeks.
  2. Feelings of worthlessness, inappropriate guilt, hopelessness, helplessness.'/>"/>

SOURCE Los Angeles Jewish Home
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