Mental Health Can Impact Risk for Coronavirus in Older Adults
We know that age and physical health issues put the elderly at risk for COVID-19, but emotional health and mental health are also important risk factors. When mental illness is left untreated, it also puts a person at risk for health complications.
Steven Simmons is community education coordinator of the Senior Behavioral Health unit at CHI St. Vincent.
“I think as a society we think our mamas and daddies or grandparents just grow old and senile. We take for granted that there could perhaps be some triggers or factors that are going on that are causing them to suffer.”
Reaching out to older adults daily is very important during this time of isolation. Calls, texting and even online video calls help tremendously.
Anytime an older person is having long-lasting or lingering mood changes, it is cause for concern and important to reach out for help. One in five senior citizens is affected by mental illness; most often depression. The senior behavioral health unit at CHI St. Vincent treats older adults for mental illness, stabilizing their mood and re-establishing a baseline so they can continue to have a good quality of life.