As we get older, we have to be increasingly more cautious of our mental and physical health. Higher risks of isolation, mobility issues, and health changes can all affect a senior’s mental health. Older adults have to learn to prioritize their well-being by seeking the following Mental Health Tips For Aging Adults as well as finding the right support and treatment.
According to Forbes, socially isolated seniors have a 59% higher risk of mental and physical decline than those who do not experience social isolation. It can be difficult for older adults to escape social isolation if they live alone and face mobility issues or are unable to drive.
Encourage your loved one to get that necessary social interaction, so they can avoid experiencing loneliness and depression. Besides the essential time with friends and family, your loved one can engage socially through opening their circle and joining group activities they enjoy. Many assisted living centers host group activities for seniors such as book clubs and bingo nights. Being with other like-minded older adults can help your loved one feel socially engaged and a part of a community.
Exercise not only benefits you physically but mentally as well. Older adults can maintain both their physical and mental health by doing at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. Doing a simple walk around the neighborhood or some yoga stretches can help your body release a happy hormone called endorphins. Exercise endorphins help reduce stress, improve sleep, and keep you happy. Make sure to consult a physician before starting any physical activity or fitness program.
Playing games and doing brain-exercise activities such as scrabble and sudoku are beneficial to seniors for both entertainment and to keep their cognitive skills sharp! Whenever your loved one feels bored, bring out the games to keep them busy and energized. Make sure the games fit your loved one’s abilities, so they find the games enjoyable.
Staying intellectually sharp also has been proven to benefit our mental states. Since cognitive skills are more prone to decline with old age, your loved one can also exercise their brain by doing fun puzzles and other brain-stimulating games.
Just as you do your regular dental clean and daily medication, apply these same routine checks on your mental health. Even if you exercise, socialize, and play games, genetics and life situations can still take a toll on your mental health and that’s okay. So, if you notice signs such as long periods of sadness, a desire to isolate, lethargy, increased anxiety, or declining memory, take these warning signs seriously and move forward with the next tip.
Treat mental illness as seriously as you would treat any other chronic illness that could change your life. To get better from any illness, you need the right treatment and support. Start by talking to your doctor. Seeking help from a professional can help you follow the right steps to get better whether it’s through therapy, medication, or any other recommendations they give you. Either way, seeking help can show you you’re not alone.
If you notice mental changes in your loved one, you can help them by making sure they’re taking care of themselves and have the support system they need. You can read more about seniors and depression here.
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