As we age, mental health becomes increasingly important, especially since older adults may find themselves alone or in new living arrangements. Increased isolation brought on by COVID-19 and stay-at-home orders have further impacted conditions that may affect elderly mental health.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 20% of adults over 60 have some type of mental or neurological disorder. Find out 7 ways senior communities promote health & wellness.
There are dozens of resources for seniors available through online or mobile app portals. Here are some select resources and mental health programs for older adults.
General Mental and Behavioral Health Resources
- Administration on Aging – The Administration on Aging is an agency of the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. Its webpage offers links to resources, programs and agencies covering a range of topics on substance abuse and mental health in the elderly.
- Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator – This service from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration can help you find a nearby treatment facility for mental health aging issues.
- Health in Aging – This service from the American Geriatrics Society provides information for older adults and family members about mental health concerns.
- Mental Health.gov – This site from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services provides one-stop access to information on mental health and mental health problems.
- National Council on Aging – This organization offers a range of services and links to services for senior adults, along with a page of helpful resources.
- National Mental Health Consumers Self-Help Clearinghouse – This directory provides comprehensive information on national and local programs providing mental health services for older adults.
- Older Adults and Mental Health – Learn about senior mental health and depression in older adults with this resource from the National Institute of Mental Health.
Alzheimer’s Disease, Cognitive Impairment and Dementia
- Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Symptoms – This resource from the National Institute on Aging offers articles and advice for dealing with cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s.
- Alzheimers.gov – A government-run resource with links to authoritative, current information from agencies and organizations with expertise in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
- Cognitive Aging Efforts – From the American Psychological Association, this site offers up-to-date publications, webinars and activities related to APA cognitive aging efforts.
Anxiety and Stress
- Anxiety and Older Adults: Overcoming Fear and Worry – This article from the Geriatric Mental Health Foundation discusses anxiety and its treatment.
- Anxiety in Older Adults – This article from Mental Health America discusses various anxiety disorders, such as panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder, and their treatments.
- Coping with Stress and Anxiety – Learn more about how stress affects your health and what to do about it, from the American Psychological Association.
Community and Engagement
- engAGED – This site, the National Resource Center for Engaging Older Adults, offers information and resources to remain engaged with other older adults.
- Senior Community Service Employment Program – This community service and work-based job training program for older Americans offers work experience in a variety of community service activities at non-profit and public facilities, including schools, hospitals, day-care centers, and senior centers.
- Senior Corps – This organization connects adults 55 and older with volunteer opportunities near them.
Learn more about the mental health benefits of socializing for seniors.
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- Crisis Text Line – Send a text from your phone to connect instantly with a crisis counselor. Text HOME to 741741.
- Disaster Distress Helpline – Access a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration counselor ready to talk to people in emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.
- Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Connect with a confidential 24-hour suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
- Treatment Referral Routing Service – This helpline offers treatment referral and information service for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders. Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
- Veterans Crisis Line – This service lets veterans in crisis and their families connect confidentially with qualified Department of Veterans Affairs responders. Text 838255 or call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 or visit the website for online chat.
- National Adult Protective Services Association – This organization provides easy access to information on reporting suspected elder abuse nationwide.
- National Center on Elder Abuse – This agency offers a resources site that gathers reports, webinars, podcasts and databases on elder abuse.
Government Agencies and Services
- Eldercare Locator – This service of the U.S. Administration on Aging connects older Americans to services and resources.
- Preventive Services – This Medicare site shows the many preventive and screening services offered to the aged to keep them healthy and find problems early.
- How To Meditate In Twelve Minutes – This YouTube video is a beginner’s guided meditation using mindfulness meditation techniques.
- Meditation for Older Adults – This article from The Hartford covers basic meditation instructions and techniques.
- The Honest Guys – This YouTube channel offers guided meditation and sleep meditation experiences.
- The Omega Institute – This organization’s YouTube channel features a variety of meditation videos, each under five minutes.
- YellowBrickCinema – This YouTube site offers long meditation music videos, some up to eight hours long.
- Calm – This app addresses issues like anxiety, focus, depression and self-care. Apple and Android.
- Doctor on Demand – This site and app provides a face-to-face digital connection to a doctor, psychiatrist or psychologist, along with other services. Apple and Android.
- FearTools Anxiety Aid – This app incorporates tracking and exposure therapy, including breathing exercises and journaling, to slowly overcome fears. Apple and Android.
- Happify – Play engaging games, engage in suggested activities and read gratitude prompts to boost your mood. Apple and Android.
- Headspace – This app offers guided meditation sessions for more calm and better sleep. Apple and Android.
- MoodKit – This app uses cognitive behavioral therapy principles to help users manage mood. Apple.
- Sanvello – This app provides mood tracking, guided meditation and custom courses. Apple and Android.
- Talkspace Online Therapy – This site and app connects you with a trained therapist as needed, with different price plans available. Apple and Android.
- Teladoc – This app connects patients to a board-certified doctor. Rates are dependent on the user’s health insurance. Apple and Android.
- What’s Up – This app usesAcceptance Commitment Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help with anxiety, depression, stress and more. Apple and Android.