Senior's Guide to Mental Health

As you age, your body isn’t the only thing that benefits from a little extra care. We can help with tips to keep your mind going strong.

Getting help is easy

Whenever you think you might need it

Retirement can be a wonderful time. Still, things like losing close friends, not seeing family as much as you’d like, and other factors can affect the way you think and feel. You don’t have to go it alone. 

Your health plan includes behavioral health benefits, like mental health and substance use disorder treatment. Best of all, you only pay your plan deductible, copay or coinsurance when you receive care in network. Your plan also offers a variety of resources that are completely free.

We're here to help

Your care options

Whether you want to talk to someone in person or virtually, we’ve got you covered. You can even explore online learning that’s self-paced. Explore all your senior care options now. Get support

Phone + online support

In-person support

Self-guided care

Primary care physician

Primary care physician

Your partner in seeking treatment

If you're looking for an easy way to find therapy for older adults in Michigan, make an appointment with your PCP for a list of references. They may have other care options for you to try as well. 

Don’t have a PCP? You can log in to your Blue Cross member account to find one.

Log in now

Anxiety is found more often than depression in older adults.¹

Anxiety

Anxiety disorders in older adults are common, affecting 10% to 20% of people.1

SYMPTOMS
  • Persistent sad, anxious or empty mood

  • Feeling restless, nervous or irritable

  • Having a racing or pounding heart

  • Feeling you can't catch your breath

Depression

Studies show that loneliness and social isolation are associated with higher rates of depression in older adults.2

SYMPTOMS
  • Loss of interest in pleasurable activities

  • Feeling hopeless, guilty or worthless

  • Irritability, restlessness or jumpy

  • Moving or talking slower than usual

SELF CARE

Putting your best foot forward

Explore these free services and resources designed to help you be your best self.

What can you do to reduce stigma


See how you can reduce universal stigma on mental health 

Education is always a good place to start when it comes to stigma. Know the facts, and advocate for yourself and others when opportunities come up. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Be aware of your attitude and behavior. Examine your own judgmental thinking that may have been planted or reinforced by society. 
 
Always put thought into your words. What you say can perpetuate stigma, even if you don’t mean to, and affect the well-being of others. 

Talk to your friends and family about mental health and be supportive of their decisions to seek treatment.

Knowledge is power

Learn more about mental health and substance use disorders, including common conditions and definitions.

Coping with isolation and loneliness

Finding ways to stay social can help you stay healthy

Social isolation can pose a threat to both physical and mental health for anyone, but especially for seniors. Limited human contact is even linked to many chronic conditions including depression, heart disease and high blood pressure.Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan believes in the healing power of human connection, even when it may feel tough to do so. Here are a few suggestions for helping to cope with isolation or loneliness. 

  • Invite a friend to go on a walk or have a video chat. 
  • Sign up for an online course or enthusiast group. 
  • Try an online group exercise program like SilverSneakers.

Caregivers

Being there for a loved one can be very rewarding. Still, studies have shown higher levels of stress in caregivers versus non-caregivers. This stress can lead to anxiety, depression or an increased intake of alcohol or other substances .4

Here are just a few ways you can take care of yourself while looking after a loved one:

  • Seek caregiver education  
  • Join a local support group 
  • Eat healthy and stay active  
  • Ask for help when you need it 
  • Make time for friends and fun

Recommended reading

Goto self-care article
A HEALTHIER MICHIGAN

Self-care guide

Researchers have found that those who engaged in hobbies report lower levels of depression.

Get the guide
A HEALTHIER MICHIGAN

Alcohol and depression

Alcohol overuse can lead to a cycle of anxiety and depression.

Get the facts
Goto inactivity article
MI BLUES PERSPECTIVES

Inactivity can affect your mood

Symptoms of anxiety and depression have long been linked to inactive lifestyles.

Learn the signs

More to explore

Guide
Parents

You’ve got the most important job in the world. Let us help you through it.

See parent's guide
Guide
Women

Make time for your behavioral health with these programs and services.

See women's guide
Guide
Men

Check in on your mental fitness and learn how to get confidential support.

See men's guide
Guide
Members

Good health unites all of us. Get tips for a strong mind-body connection.

See member's guide

The information contained on this webpage is for educational purposes only. Nothing on this webpage is intended to be, nor should be used as or relied upon as, professional medical advice. Nothing contained on this webpage is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. For medical advice, or to receive medical diagnosis or treatment, consult with your health care provider.

 

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