Supporting a Loved One With Bipolar Disorder - 24|7 Nursing Care

Supporting a Loved One With Bipolar Disorder

Aging can be accompanied by many challenges, including decreased physical and mental capabilities. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, bipolar disorder affects more than 5.7 million adults in the United States each year. That’s about 3 percent of the population. Bipolar disorder is a serious mental health condition that can affect almost every aspect of your life. This is a lifelong illness that causes several types of disorders, including alternating phases of mania, hypomania, and depression. A depressive episode causes low energy, feelings of sadness or hopelessness, and a loss of interest in your favorite activities. It usually lasts at least a couple of weeks, but some seniors experience phases of depression for much longer. Visit Skye and get a Recovery, Wellness, & Beyond Physical Therapy in Ellicott City, MD.

When treated with therapy and medication, most people with bipolar disorder find that their symptoms are manageable and that the condition doesn’t get in the way of their daily functioning. However, when untreated, bipolar disorder can be emotionally devastating. Some older adults have an easier time managing their symptoms as they age. They’ve learned how to adjust their lifestyle to stay emotionally healthy, and they’ve collected tips and tricks from years of therapy. Unfortunately, some others see their bipolar disorder worsen with age.

While living with seniors who have bipolar disorder, understanding the signs, symptoms, and treatments for bipolar disorder can help you come to terms with their diagnosis. Untreated or unmanaged bipolar disorder also creates extra risks. Reckless and impulsive decision-making is a key sign of a manic episode, and this symptom can lead to especially serious consequences if they have limited mobility or other medical issues.

Below is a list of things to keep in mind if you are a friend or family member of a senior living with Bipolar Disorder:

  • Individuals and families can learn about bipolar disorder from trusted reliable sources.
  • Support participation in treatment.
  • When a person is depressed or manic, they may not act like their normal selves and may need extra patience and attention.
  • Work with your loved ones to create a plan that supports them when things are not going well. 
  • Some types of plans to consider are a Psychiatric Advance Directive and a Suicide Safety Plan.
  • Try to listen without judgment and facilitate participation in treatment.
  • Find support from the whole family.

Stay hopeful! Bipolar disorder is a disease that can be managed successfully. A comprehensive set of support that includes medication, therapy, and the support of family and friends can be a valuable source of hope that is important for long-term recovery. A sudden or prolonged change in behavior or mood may indicate the presence or the precursor stage of mental illness. Often, highly specialized care designed specifically to address day-to-day activity issues may be required.

At 24/7 Nursing Care, we know that caring for a loved one with a mental health disorder can be overwhelming. However, it is important to know that you have options. To learn more about if an in-home psychiatric caregiver referral is right for you or your loved one, please give us a call at 786-518-3622 in Miami-Dade or 954-949-1332 in Broward.