What Mental Health Issues Are Common in The Elderly Population?

Melvin Futrell
June 22, 2021
What Mental Health Issues Are Common in The Elderly Population?

Older adults, those aged 60 or above, are much more than just family members and volunteers. They also make important contributions to society as active participants in the workforce! While most have good mental health, many older adults are at risk of developing disorders such as dementia and depression due to age-related changes in brain function. Furthermore, people aging is a lifelong process that can result in several conditions occurring simultaneously for example diabetes oftentimes coexists with hearing loss and arthritis too - don't let this happen without you taking precautions! In this article, we are going to discuss what mental health issues are common in the elderly population. 

Dementia and depression are the most common mental health issues among the elderly population


Dementia is a syndrome, usually of chronic or progressive nature, in which there is deterioration in memory and thinking. It mainly affects older people with nearly 60% living across low- and middle-income countries worldwide. The total number of people with dementia will rise to 82 million by 2030 according to the latest projections while 152 million are expected at 2050 if enough funding for research isn't secured soon!

Dementia is a disease that can cause significant social and economic issues. There are direct costs associated with not only medical care but also social and informal ones too. The physical, emotional, and financial pressure from dementia puts great stress on the person who has it as well as their family members or caregivers in need of support to get through this tough time. Health systems should be available for both people living with dementia as well those caring for them so they may find relief when needed most.


Depression can lead to great suffering and impaired functioning in daily life. Unipolar depression occurs in 7% of the general older population, accounting for 5.7% of YLDs among those over 60 years old; it is both underdiagnosed and undertreated in primary care settings because symptoms often co-occur with other problems encountered by older adults that overshadow them like physical illness or mental health conditions such as anxiety disorders.

Older people with depressive symptoms are more likely to experience health complications, higher costs, and lower quality of life compared to those who suffer from chronic medical conditions such as lung disease or diabetes. Depression also increases the perception of poor health, utilization rates for healthcare services, and much more!

For more understanding, you can also read about 6 subtle signs your mental health is deteriorating. 


What is the most common mental illness in the elderly?

While dementia and depression is the most common mental and neurological disorder in this age group.

In addition to these two disorders, there are many other ailments that can strike in old age such as Alzheimer’s disease or stroke which affect up to 5 million people worldwide.

Which type of mental disorder is most common for individuals 65 and over?

According to the Alzheimer's Association, over 10% of seniors in America are afflicted with ailments related to severe cognitive impairment or dementia. This is a truly alarming statistic!

What are the two main mental illnesses that affect elderly patients?

Mental illness is common among seniors and may include isolation, depression or anxiety disorders, dementia, or psychosis. Many seniors also suffer from sleep problems and behavioral issues as a result of physical diseases/surgeries.

What is the most common cause of depression in older adults?

The death of a loved one can bring on depression in older adults.

A family member, spouse, or partner's loss is difficult to deal with and often leads people into feelings of sadness that they don't know how to overcome.

How is mental illness treated in the elderly?

Treatments and Therapies for Mental Health Issues in Elderly Patients

Do you know what the most effective treatments are for elderly patients? Psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), self-help or support groups, stress management techniques, psychiatric medications like antidepressants.

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