BOULDER, Colo. — The Alzheimer’s Association recently released a report that found deaths from Alzheimer’s and other dementia related diseases increased by 16% in 2020.
Several organizations that serve seniors have reported seeing an increase in mental health illnesses in older Americans following months of isolation due to the pandemic.
“It’s been very isolating and difficult for them. That can exacerbate other issues that were already going on with them,” said Jason DiPietro, owner of Right at Home, a Boulder based home care company.
DiPietro told Denver7 that during the pandemic many of his clients have been experiencing anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and signs of bipolar disorder.
“They’re afraid, and they’re lonely and it’s important that we keep an eye open,” DiPietro said.
DiPietro said family members and friends of seniors should check for changes in behavior if they believe their loved one may be experiencing a mental health issue.
According to DiPietro, it’s especially important to look for changes in eating or sleeping habits as well as increases in attention seeking behavior.