During Older Americans Mental Health Week, observed May 19-25, Brookhaven Retreat recognizes that the unique challenges faced by older women can lead to mental health issues that require residential treatment.
One in four American adults suffers from a diagnosable mental illness, but less than one quarter of older adults receive any type of mental health attention for their illness. Depression frequently co-occurs with serious health issues such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer that may affect the older population. Because women tend to outlive men, issues of grief and bereavement often affect older women.
It is important for aging women to recognize the difference between healthy grief, worry, and medication intake and issues of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. When women isolate, become unable to care for themselves or manage emotional suffering with medication, a deeper mental health issue may be present. This is not part of the normal aging process, and appropriate treatment should be sought.
Brookhaven Retreat frequently encounters the unique mental health challenges presented to older women. Without treatment, depression, anxiety and isolation worsen and wellness declines. However, women can recover from mental health and substance abuse issues at any age. There are a variety of treatment options for older women with major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders and substance abuse issues. Brookhaven Retreat believes in also addressing self-esteem, nutrition and daily habits to create a stable foundation for continued wellness.
Brookhaven Retreat recognizes that mental illness presents a significant risk to older women but may be dismissed as a sign of the aging process. It also rededicates itself to helping older women build the healthy habits and positive outlook that will allow them to enjoy emotionally fulfilling lives long after treatment.