Signs & Symptoms

The brain is inarguably the most important organ in our bodies. A critical component of our overall well-being, it's our primary operations center—controling all thought, movement, and behavior. Like any other organ in our body, the brain can become damaged, sick, or disordered. When this happens, both mental and physical function can be disrupted. Common age-related threats to brain function include:

Age-Related Changes

As we age, certain physical changes, life experiences, and changing circumstances influence our vulnerability to mental illness. In late life, we must be aware of these risks and know the symptoms that indicate there is a problem.

Chronic Mental Illness

Improvements in mental health and general medical care have resulted in more individuals with serious mental illness living longer than ever before.

Cognitive Impairment

"Dementia" and “cognitive impairment” are terms that refer to a set of symptoms that interfere with daily life, safety and independence.

Common Mental Health Concerns

In later life, mental illness symptoms tend to be more physical. Fatigue, muscle aches, pain, sleeplessness and digestive problems are common examples of the physical manifestation of a mental disorder.

Elder Abuse

Elder abuse can affect all people regardless of ethnic background, social status, and sex.

Stress & Trauma

Trauma results when experiences that physically or emotionally harmful to an individual have lasting adverse effects on their mental, physical, social, and emotional.

Substance Use

Many older people are not aware of the age related changes that make their bodies more vulnerable to the effects of alcohol, drugs, and medications.

Suicidal Thoughts or Actions

Older adults have a higher rate of suicide than any other population. They intend to complete (they are less likely for an attempt to be a “call for help”) and they use the most lethal of means (firearms are most involved).

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