Psychosocial Support: What It Is And How It Helps The Elderly
Over the last few years, more individuals have been accepting the crucial role of mental health in ensuring that they achieve their personal and global development roles. For this reason, people need to manage and express their mental issues. As you age, your mental health may worsen, and it’s crucial that you utilize the available techniques to maintain a stable mental state.
The following article discusses all you need to know about psychosocial support. You’ll learn what is psychosocial and how it can help the elderly, psychosocial needs amongst the elderly, and much more.
Before understanding what psychosocial support is, it’d help too, first, learn about the meaning of psychosocial. This term refers to the relationship between the social and psychological aspects of a person. The psychological aspect refers to how an individual reacts to and feels the internal, emotional, and thought processes. On the other hand, the social dimension includes relationships with friends and family, community interactions, etc.
Thus, psychosocial support refers to actions taken to address individuals’, families’, and communities’ social and psychosocial needs. Factors such as age, wars, floods, etc., may affect your mental and psychosocial wellbeing, leading to mental-related issues. These actions will play an important role in ensuring you’re able to express and manage the distress.
It’s important to address not only the physical needs of the elderly but also their psychosocial needs. The following are the needs you should address when providing psychosocial support to the elderly:
1. Personal Connections
This is one of the psychosocial needs of the elderly. They’ll need to maintain a connection with family, friends, and other similar-minded seniors. These connections will help reduce the chances of depression, loneliness, etc., boosting mental and emotional stability.
Thanks to technological advancements, the elderly can utilize social media platforms to stay connected. Through social media and other facilities, they can easily plan and participate in social-based and family activities. The good news is that the likes of NDIS providers have made it easy for the elderly with disabilities to cultivate connections by understanding and helping them accomplish their goals.
2. Mental Stimulation
It’s vital to understand that the aging brain needs to remain stimulated and engaged. This will help in reducing the chances of cognitive decline, which can affect the behavior and emotions of the elderly. Cognitive decline may also increase their susceptibility to depression and other related mental issues.
- While personal connections with friends and family members will help with mental stimulation, the elderly should:
- Read and explore other ways to learn – This will help engage their cognitive aspect, promoting stable stimulation.
Engage in word games – Engaging in word games, either online or with friends, will ensure that they remain busy most of the time. This reduces the chances of being lonely, which may lead to mental-related issues.
3. Safety And Security
Did you know that most older adults may fear falling more than mugging or financial crisis? Thus, providing a safe, secure surrounding will play a huge role in helping them maintain a stable mental state. Ensure you install security features, as well as modify the staircase, locks, etc., to facilitate a sense of security to the elderly.
If the above psychosocial needs aren’t addressed early enough, it can lead to the following challenges:
Factors such as memory loss, mobility, and other age-related issues may affect how the elderly relate with other individuals. It’s also important to understand that the psychosocial aspect of aging may make it hard for them to maintain a social life, leading to isolation.
This can lead to loneliness, and other mental-related issues, increasing chances of substance use. This will not only affect their connections, but it’ll also have adverse effects on their overall well-being.
2. Poor Hygiene
Mental health issues and cognitive decline could affect the well-being of the elderly, making it hard to maintain good hygiene. This can lead to low self-esteem, affecting their behaviors and how they relate with other people.
Psychosocial support can play a huge role in preventing loneliness, substance use, personality disorder, etc. For example, you can offer the following psychosocial support activities to elderly adults to help cope with age-related challenges and distress:
1. Encouraging Them To Resume Daily Activities
As people age, most of them tend to avoid participating in daily activities, which may affect their mental health. Factors such as disasters can also contribute to this, making it hard for the elderly to resume their daily activities.
Encouraging them to conduct routine activities helps develop a sense of normalcy, increasing security and certainty. One of the ways you can encourage them to resume daily activities includes organizing peer activities, family events, etc.
This is another type of psychosocial support that can be offered to the senior population. For many years, providing counseling sessions to the elderly community wasn’t viewed as an option. This is mostly because age and social status were viewed as the key determinants of improving the psychosocial status.
But, over the last few years, most individuals have accepted psychosocial counseling as a reliable option to provide therapeutic support to the elderly. Through psychosocial counseling, the elderly adult can freely express issues they might be facing at the moment. Many factors, such as retirement, mobility, interpersonal relationship, etc., can contribute to mental-related issues. Through counseling, individuals can express their grief and distress, helping reduce the chances of depression and other related issues.
3. Joining Support Groups
Support groups will bring people with similar situations together. People can use such groups to share and learn how to cope with certain issues. Such can play a huge role in assisting people in dealing with their feelings and the side effects of medications.
There are support groups for all sorts of people. For example, individuals receiving a certain type of drug can form a support group to help each other cope with the associated side effects. Just ensure you conduct enough background checks before joining a support group.
As discussed above, psychosocial support will play a huge role in maintaining and managing mental health amongst the elderly. It refers to the actions taken to address the social and psychosocial needs of individuals. Some of the psychosocial needs include personal connections, mental stimulation, and security/safety.