September is Healthy Aging Month, a yearly celebration of growing older and recognizing the impact aging has on a woman’s emotional and mental health. Brookhaven Retreat understands the unique challenges the aging process presents and helps women address these challenges while in its residential treatment program.
As women age, caring for their physical health becomes increasingly important. Many women face difficulties that may interfere with their ability to participate in the pleasurable activities they once relied on. If a woman is no longer physically able to enjoy her hobbies, emotional health becomes difficult to nurture and she is at higher risk of developing depression or anxiety.
Late life stressors such as the loss of a loved one leave many older women struggling alone with overwhelming feelings of grief and loss. Grief that is unresolved may progress into depression, anxiety and substance abuse. In fact, the American Psychological Association reports addiction is on the rise in older adults, with an estimated 4.4 million requiring substance abuse treatment by the year 2020.
Symptoms of depression, anxiety and mood disorders often get mistaken as normal signs of aging, and go unnoticed in older adults. Healthy Aging Month provides and opportunity to educate women and family members on the difference between normal aging and mental illness, as well as the understanding that mental health treatment is available for women of all ages.
By prioritizing physical, emotional and mental health, healthy aging is possible. Since opening its doors in 2006, Brookhaven Retreat has helped countless women cope with the mental and emotional impact of aging. This September, it encourages women who feel they may be experiencing mental health issues to seek out appropriate help and reclaim a life they love.