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5 Tips for Finding the Right Mental Health Therapist for Seniors

Thank you to guest blogger, Holly Clark, Freelance Health Writer.

Mental health is essential. No matter what age you may be, staying mentally healthy is extremely important, not just for your mood or happiness, but for the health of your body as well. Poor mental health may cause poor overall health, which is never a good thing. It’s not shameful to need help sometimes, and seeing a therapist is the best way to get the help you need. However, seeing a therapist as a senior may seem a bit daunting. This is especially true when it comes to finding one. Fret not, because it is possible to find the right therapist for you. Some tips to find the right therapist as a senior are:

Ask Your Doctor

If you’re comfortable asking your doctor, they’re the best place to begin. Your doctor may be able to refer you to a therapist that matches you. Many people will ask their doctors for a referral, so it’s not something that they’re unfamiliar with. Explain to your doctor some of your issues, and then ask if they have any recommendations, you just may be surprised at how helpful asking your doctor may be.

Use Internet Resources

The internet is a powerful tool, and it comes with a lot of sources for help. Do a few internet searches for therapists in your area, there are many online resources that list therapists and their locations, as well as specialties. Doing some shopping around also allows you to look at all of your options before choosing which therapist you’d like to try first. Remember, you may not like the first or even the second therapist you see. It’s okay to end the relationship and move on to another choice. Sometimes you’ll need to try a few different therapists before finding the one you feel most comfortable with.

Look For Your Insurance

It’s important to remember to look for a therapist that accepts your insurance. To do this, you can look through directories online, or even call your insurance company for a list of therapists in your area. Some will even let you filter your results by age and gender, allowing you to specify what sort of person you’d feel more comfortable seeing. If you have Medicare, this insurance does cover therapy, as well as many other insurance companies do.

Ask Around

It’s not shameful or even odd to ask your friends and family if they have any recommendations. You may be surprised at how many people you know that have a therapist. Asking those you trust and like most allows you to get recommendations that match your personality better, it may also ease some tension and fear when trying to choose someone who works best for you.

Consider Teletherapy

If you can’t drive, or you don’t have dependable transportation, it may be worthwhile to consider a form of teletherapy until you could figure something else out. Services such as TalkSpace cost, but they may ease one into the process of therapy, and they also provide an option for those who are unable to travel to a local therapist’s office. However, you may be able to have your insurance company transport you to your appointments at no extra cost, so it is definitely worth calling and inquiring about those services.

Jane Byrne, project coordinator at a nursing home in Kildare, notes that, “Seeing a therapist may seem scary, especially as a senior citizen, however, it’s not as terrible as you’d believe. Many people see a therapist and are much better off for it. Remember that it’s okay to need to talk about your problems, and doing so is a great way to become happier and healthier.”

A person’s nutrition impacts all our jobs…

Nutrition is an important part of a person’s health and can have impacts on various parts of their life. Regardless of your profession in healthcare we all need to recognize if someone is at nutritional risk.

Are you addressing nutrition during your assessments? We should be able to distinguish through our evaluations if someone is malnourished, too weak to complete ADL’s, has poor appetite, struggles with weight loss, lives with a chronic condition or their weight has caused less movement. Together we need to direct our care and our clients/patients to nutritional support to help them reach their health and life goals.

If you are working with a client or patient that has one or more of the following issues please connect them with resources and/or a Registered Dietitian.

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Overweight
  • High cholesterol 
  • High blood pressure
  • Underweight
  • Vegetarian diet needs
  • Prenatal nutrition
  • Menopause
  • Osteoporosis
  • Reflux disease, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and other Gastrointestinal issues
  • Overall nutrition for good health

When we start to focus on what goes into our bodies, we will start to see positive change on how we feel. If you put in good, good things come out! And yes, it can be that easier.

If you are looking for resources for a client/patient contact Covell Care. We can connect you with our Registered Dietitian. (970) 204-4331

Dealing with Diabetes? A Registered Dietitian Can Help.

Blog submitted by Jericha Bair, Registered Dietitian.

Currently over 30 million Americans have diabetes. Approximately 24% of these people are undiagnosed, meaning they are unaware they have the disease. This is unfortunate because diabetes is one of the top 10 causes of death in the United States. Complications from diabetes include damage to nerves, kidneys, eyes, and feet as well as an increased risk for heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and develops over a long period of time. It is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors where the body is no longer producing adequate insulin or does not use the insulin produced. Gradually, blood sugar levels become too high. Being overweight or obese is one of the risk factors for diabetes.

A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) can help patients learn to manage their disease. RDN’s have completed advanced training developed by the Accreditation Council for Education and Nutrition in Dietetics and are nutrition experts who can provide support with the following:

  • Assistance with understanding how the food you eat is affecting blood sugar levels
  • How to count carbohydrates and learn to control portion sizes
  • Tailor a healthy eating meal plan designed for your needs and lifestyle
  • Help understanding food labels and choosing the best foods to meet your needs
  • Work with you to reduce your risk for other complications
  • Help incorporate more activity into your day
  • Help you reach weight loss goals

Contact Covell Care & Rehabilitation at (970) 204-4331 if you are interested in scheduling a session with our Registered Dietitian.

Diet vs. Healthy Eating

Our stomach drives our decision on when to eat but it is often our emotions, available time and ease that may drive the decision of what we eat. We are living in a fast-pace society where demands can be high in our career and how we manage our family structures. This makes it hard to take the time to think about eating healthy…or at least that is what we tell ourselves.

There are many diets out there today that give us a guide on what we should eat, taking some of the decisions out of our day. But are those diets sustainable over time? Should we trash the diets and just focus on making healthy decisions?

Healthy eating, along with understanding your health is the answer for long-term success. If you are living with a chronic health condition (including depression, incontinence) keep in mind what food options help manage your condition’s symptoms and implement those options into your meal planning. This shouldn’t add any additional stress or time, and in the long run will potentially save on healthcare dollars and have a positive impact on your overall health.

So what to do next…know your needs. What health conditions are you living with? Are there certain foods that help or hinder your condition? What are you currently eating? And how to you need after? Are you at a healthy weight for your height and age? What areas do you struggle with when it comes to eating? What can you substitute that would be a healthier option?

This is gives you a good starting point. If you need more support please contact our office to work with our Registered Dietitian. She can help make this process simple and achieve your goals. Call us at (970) 204-4331.

How Does Our Mental Health Change as we Age?

Thank you to JaNae Gregg, UNC Student Volunteer and Guest Blogger.

The aging process comes with many changes for our bodies, but a common change that gets overlooked is how our mental health changes.  The change in our mental health can be misunderstood for the common physical changes that can occur from aging. Some of these symptoms can reveal themselves as lack of motivation, fatigue, and forgetfulness.  One way to be able to recognize when a symptom is cause for a mental health concern includes: stable intellectual functioning, capacity for change, and productive engagement with life. When fatigue and lack of motivation begin to interfere with how a person interacts within their daily life, then it could become a possible warning sign that they are suffering from poor mental health.  It is easy to misinterpret physical changes with mental health since the two typically go hand in hand with one another. For example, if a person suffers from heart problems or diabetes then they are more likely to develop poor mental health. On the other hand, people who suffer from depression and/or anxiety are more likely to develop physical problems that could include lack of energy, trouble concentrating, and memory problems.

Coping with the changes that occur while aging should be a part of everyone’s long-term lifestyle.  This could be done by expecting and planning for changes to occur (at any stage of life), maintaining strong relationships with family and friends, and a willingness to stay excited and involved with life.  By taking preventative measures to help mental health early on in life, then there is a higher chance of having better mental health in the future.  

Following these steps can be very beneficial for mental health, but sometimes the changes and loneliness that occurs with aging is hard to combat.  It is important to recognize if these changes reach a point of being too much to handle. The most sure sign of poor mental health or loneliness is when it becomes an interference to a person’s daily life.  There are a variety of ways to help decrease feeling lonely, these strategies include: staying active, look for new social outlets and contacts, make friends with people of all ages, continue to set goals and work towards them, and learn to recognize and deal with signs of depression.  Having strong emotional and social support are two of the biggest factors that can help with mental health; it is also associated with reduced risk of physical illness and mortality.

Mental health is just as important as a person’s physical health.  If you or someone you know suffers from a mental health disease or just isn’t feeling themselves, it is wise to seek outlets that can be beneficial to help improve their well-being.  Seeking counseling can be very beneficial, but there are many other ways to help improve mental health. Starting a new exercise routine, eating a healthier diet, finding a hobby, and being social are all great simple ways to begin to improve mental health. 

Contact Covell Care at (970) 204-4331 to learn about our counseling services for you or a loved one.   

Source: https://www.psychologistanywhereanytime.com/psychologist/psychologist_aging_and_mental_health.htm