Join Club

Aging Right at Home: Answers for the Growing Concern of Geriatric Mental Health

Aging Right @ Home is a monthly blog series, answering your questions on providing care for individuals with disabilities, loved ones with dementia and older adults aging in place. If you have a question, please submit it to [email protected].

Depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders are, unfortunately, quite common among the older population. The National Council on Aging (NCOA) reports that one in four older adults will experience a mental disorder. This is a growing concern not just for older adults, but also for the families and loved ones who help provide care. Having cared for many local aging seniors at Right At Home, one of Northern Virginia’s largest and longest running in-home care service providers, I wanted to provide answers to many of the frequent questions we hear from our clients:

Q: Are changes in my loved one’s personality and behavior just a normal part of aging?

A: Health problems, the loss of a spouse, disability and even one’s changing role after retirement can lead to personality changes. However, as a caregiver, family or friend, it’s important to recognize the differences between normal changes of aging and early signs of mental health disorders. The NCOA reports that, when left untreated, these disorders can lead to more serious issues.

Q: What are the signs that my loved one might have a mental health condition that should be addressed?

A: This question is tough, because often changes can be gradual and subtle. If you have concerns, have an initial consultation with their doctor. If your loved one is feeling unusually confused or on edge, showing low or no energy, losing interest in things they once enjoyed, or showing other signs of helpless or hopeless, a doctor can help with an initial diagnosis.

Q: Can mental health disorders be treated?

A: The good news is, in many cases, there are treatments that can help. Your loved one’s doctor might recommend cognitive behavioral therapy or psychotherapy. A geriatric mental health professional may also prescribe medications while taking into account a patient’s ability to manage medications, other current medications and how their age affects the way their body processes substances.

Q: Can professional in-home caregivers support the health of older clients?

A: Yes! Receiving care in the familiar environment of a senior’s home is conducive to good mental health. Professional in-home caregivers not only provide companionship, which is of particular importance, but also help reduce stress for the client and their families.

Professional in-home caregivers also provide assistance with a variety of tasks, from accompanying clients to the doctor and pharmacy, bathing, dressing, meal preparation, and housekeeping. For my caregivers at Right at Home, we’ll work specifically with families to support the needs of senior loved ones and family caregivers alike. Feel free to reach out for a consultation or if I can answer any questions during your search for care.

Your neighbor, and Owner/President of Right at Home of Northern Virginia,
Phillip Turner, CDP, CSA

Each month readers can submit questions to Phillip Turner (CSA, CDP), the Owner and Executive Director of Right At Home Northern Virginia, one of the area’s largest and longest-serving providers of in-home senior care.

As a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) and a Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP), Phillip is passionate about providing individualized care, enthusiastic management services and collaborating with other health care providers. If you have a question, please submit to [email protected].  

Recent Stories

Take a tour of the Courthouse neighborhood and explore two local favorites of Sallie Seiy, your guide in the latest Neighborhood Spotlight.

Good Friday evening, Arlington. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier today…

The Arlington County Board and the Human Rights Commission are at odds over whether commissioners had the right to request an investigation into possible human and civil rights violations at…

Expanded renovated 4 BR 3 bath with garage in Cardinal Swanson Yorktown pyramid

The Potomac Roasting Company is a local micro-roaster specializing in artisan coffee. We precision roast high-quality specialty beans sourced from small farms in Latin America that are owned and operated by women. Your coffee will be roasted the way you want it and delivered fresh.

As two former Peace Corps volunteers who served in Guatemala, we founded Potomac Roasting to pursue our passion for great coffee and purpose-driven work. In addition to ethically sourcing our beans, we also donate a portion of our profits to Laila’s Legacy Animal Rescue, a DC-based nonprofit that finds homes for homeless dogs and cats.

Our current roasts come from prime coffee-producing regions of Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru. We will be adding new roasts soon. If you are local, there’s a good chance we can deliver to your door. Look for us at local farmers’ markets beginning this spring. In the meantime, check us out now for better coffee and good karma in a cup. You can use the code Community and save 10%.

Submit your own Announcement here.

🎉 Tonight, we invite you to the French Riviera, one of the most exciting places on earth – without ever boarding a plane! And celebrate Mardi Gras and the Carnival of Nice on French soil as we welcome you to a special evening at the Embassy of France!

From the elegance of classical French culture to the most celebrated Rivera nightlife of the 21st Century, experience a special evening of fantastic French food, wine, music, and ambiance.

Enjoy the flavors of Nice, Monaco, and St. Tropez in the beautiful and festive Maison Francaise at the French Embassy.

🍽️ On the Menu: Delicious French food

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

Free Right-Sizing Workshop – How to Get Rid of Your…

Cody Chance and Dick Nathan of Long & Foster are hosting a free workshop on the topic of “down-sizing” at their office on Cherry Hill Rd. (formerly Lee Highway) in Arlington on Thursday, February 29 from 5:30PM-7:00PM.

Every great endeavor

Science Meets Judaism: Artificial Intelligence and Ethical Biases

The third program in our Science Meets Judaism series brings together Kol Ami member Jeremy Epstein, Assistant Director for Technologies and Privacy at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Dr. Rebecca Epstein-Levi, Assistant Professor of Jewish


Subscribe to our mailing list