A mental health awareness programme among elderly people was organised by the office of District Mental Health Programme (DMHP) at Mawsaw Sub-Centre in South West Khasi Hills District today.
Twenty elderly citizens attended the programme where they were explained on the types of mental health, its causes and symptoms.
Clinical Psychologist, Dr A. Lyngkhoi said depression, anxiety and dementia are three types of mental illness that are common among elderly people that can cause great suffering and leads to impaired functioning in daily life.
“Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is the most common anxiety disorder among older adults, though anxiety disorders in this population are frequently associated with traumatic events such as a fall or acute illness,” Dr Lyngkhoi said.
Pointing out that dementia is a syndrome, usually of a chronic or progressive nature, in which there is deterioration in memory, thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday activities she also informed them about the available treatment for mental illness which includes counselling and medication.
Mid Level Health Provider of Mawsawa D. Lyngkhoi explained about the importance of physical health for healthy aging, preventing or mitigating falls, pain, sarcopenia, osteoporosis, and cognitive impairment.
She informed about a well-balanced exercise program that includes daily aerobic, strength, balance, and flexibility components and said older adults do not meet the currently recommended minutes of regular physical activity weekly.
Lyngkhoi spoke about smart food choices to get adequate nutrients and prevent obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, good sleep to boost, smoking and substance abuse, regular checkups, taking adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D and others.