In our society, there is a constant conversation about how we can take good care of our physical health by exercising regularly, eating healthily, and going to the doctor as regularly as possible. Despite this, mental health is still something that can be seen as a taboo subject for whatever reason that may be. A large percentage of those in this country will experience a mental illness at some point in their lives. Still, a majority of these people feel uncomfortable talking about their experiences with others or describing the symptoms they are experiencing.
Mental Health America points out that early intervention is crucial when addressing symptoms. Some factors that can impact the state of a person’s mental health are outside the individual’s control (such as chronic disease, genetics, or various environmental factors). However, it is possible to take steps to minimise your risk of developing mental illness and the severity of your current symptoms. It becomes more crucial with advancing age to monitor mental health.
Mental Health in Seniors: There’s Some Good News!!
The good news for seniors with mental disorders is that they can be managed, and medication therapy or clinical intervention is possible. There are many activities and resources to keep older adults happy and healthy. A great way to avoid mental health issues in seniors is to stay connected and maintain strong, meaningful social networks with family members and friends. According to the CDC, there is a reduction in the risk of physical illness, mental illness, and even death associated with social support.
Six Ways Seniors can Improve their Mental Health
As the family dynamic and circumstances change, living and mental health programs can provide seniors with a supportive community and social setting to allow them to continue their favourite activities and discover new ones. With this in mind, we offer our senior guide to maintaining and improving your mental health.
1. Play Mind Games
Just like the brain needs to be stimulated and physically active to stay healthy, so does the brain need to be stimulated to avoid cognitive decline as we age. Harvard Health Publishing argues that brain gaming can enhance certain thinking skills, including processing speed, planning and reaction times, and short-term memory.
Language, memory, and focus all can have an impact on your mental health. Feeling depressed or anxious when you can’t connect with the world may make you feel confused, anxious, or depressed. It is crucial to keep your cognitive health in good shape as you age. If you can communicate with others, it will make your life easier and more enjoyable.
It’s a good way to sharpen your brain. When you’re on your own, you can complete crosswords or Sudoku puzzles and adult colouring books. You can play cards or board games with friends and family for mental stimulation. You get to spend time with family and friends, which can benefit your mental health.
Activities that engage the mind and work towards solving problems are good for brain health. The most popular and accessible activities for seniors include:
- Writing and reading
- Studies show that reading can improve memory function and reduce stress. It also promotes better sleep. Journaling is a good way to relieve stress and anxiety.
- Learning a new Language
- Language learning helps to develop confidence in the brain and increase socialisation with those studying the language.
- Playing an instrument
- Music stimulates brain activity and improves memory for seniors with Alzheimer’s or Dementia. The Washington Post claims that playing or learning to play an instrument is fun and can increase verbal fluency and speed of processing within months.
- Playing puzzles or other games
- Additionally, to being fun, puzzles have been shown to increase memory and mental health in seniors.
2. Get Physically-Active
You can exercise by taking regular walks, doing yoga for mental health, or dancing ballroom, and it will boost your confidence and decrease the likelihood of falling. Seniors’ mental and physical health is just as important at this stage as at other times in their lives.
To help seniors keep healthy, performing low-impact activities like stretching and strength training is necessary.
Exercise can have many benefits, as it can also help manage stress, anxiety, and depression in seniors. These conditions can damage seniors’ health more than injuries or other physical ailments.
Physical exercise is an excellent mental health strategy for anyone of any age. Exercise is good for the heart, joints, muscles, and brain. However, it can also have significant benefits for mental well-being in seniors. Exercise can improve mood, relieve anxiety, and reduce symptoms of depression. Exercising can make a big difference in your quality of living. The structure and predictability of a workout can make your life easier. Additionally, it can allow you to be outside and interact with others. Your physical health can lead to happiness.
3.Stay Connected with Friends
Distance and time can make maintaining close friendships with old friends difficult, especially as we age. For older adults, staying in touch can prevent isolation and loneliness, which can lead, in some cases, to depression.
FaceTime and Zoom are great ways to stay in touch. Many people are available to help seniors use these apps, as well as online tutorials. Seniors may also keep things simple and write letters or schedule a telephone call. Seniors, as with everyone, are always open to making new friends.
4. Start a New Hobby
It is crucial to be active even after you retire. While everyone has a personal list of activities and dreams, there are times when they get put off due to life’s busy schedules.
One of the most common problems seniors face is loneliness, which can also seriously affect their mental health. We all need to be connected with others. Seniors may live alone or have less contact with family members and friends, so they should try to find as many social opportunities as possible.
Older adults may find it beneficial to schedule recurring social events. It is easy to forget to see a friend for months, and however, regular social events can help you to keep that friendship alive. It can be a good way to get settled into a routine and promote senior mental well-being.
You can look for social events in your area if you have no close family members or friends. A senior centre, senior meet-up group, or local senior meet-up may host classes or other gatherings. These programmes are often accessible by transportation.
Seniors should retire at the right time to fulfil their lifelong ambitions, such as gardening, sewing, and painting. Hobbies such as Shadow Boxes aid in increasing neuroplasticity- A process by which nerve cells can connect or reconnect. The brain’s function and structure get stimulated by this process. As the neuronal pathways become stronger and new connections are created, individuals feel at ease and feel connected. It can lead to increased mental health and well-being for older adults.
Many seniors find satisfaction and purpose in volunteering for a worthy cause. Many causes and organisations offer support for older adults.
- Starting by volunteering for a cause you care about is a rewarding and fulfilling experience.
- The ability to trade time for a good cause can boost mental health.
Volunteering after retirement in activities like reading to children and sharing your expertise with them, assisting at a soup kitchen, food pantry, or hospital can help seniors remain active and socially engaged and be part of a diverse and vibrant community. Volunteering is a great way to make new friends and stay active.
Senior mental health problems are often caused by a lack of meaning in life. Retirement with children may mean that you are no longer able to identify yourself by the things you used to be. Find new activities that give meaning to your daily life to safeguard your mental health.
6. Caring for a Pet
Where appropriate, animals can help keep seniors active and busy and offer companionship with their unconditional love. The CDC says that studies show that pets and humans positively affect their physical and emotional health.
- The health benefits of having a pet include the following:
- Reduction in blood pressure
- A decrease in feelings of loneliness
- More opportunities for socialisation
Volunteering at an organisation that helps animals in dire need is a good option if you don’t want or can’t own one.
Older adults must take care of their mental health. People who are not healthy and stable can be more susceptible to other diseases and ailments. Older adults will benefit if they make an effort to Pets are not for everyone, and you should avoid getting one if you can’t care for your pet. Adopting a pet is a great way to improve your mental well-being if you love animals.
Pets can make your home feel more welcoming and peaceful, especially if you are living alone. Pet ownership can help reduce stress and anxiety. Taking care of your pet can also improve your mental health. Being able to look after your pet gives you a sense of purpose and meaning in your day and helps you be more engaged with the world around you.
Managing senior mental health with lifestyle changes or social support is sometimes impossible. Sometimes, professional assistance is necessary. Many people have experienced mental health problems and have been able to overcome them with counselling. People of all ages and backgrounds can go to therapy, leading to great outcomes for senior mental well-being. A mental health therapist can help you explore your emotions in a confidential and safe setting. You can learn how to cope with anxiety and depression by working through your life. Counselling can be a great way to connect and share your feelings with another senior, and regular contact with others can enhance your cognitive health and structure your life.
Senior mental health is vital for anyone ageing, whether you are the one you are caring for or your loved one. Your mental health is crucial to your ability to live a happy retirement life. Make small, daily improvements to your mental and emotional well-being.
What are emotional activities for seniors?
Start a New Hobby. It is crucial to be active even after you retire. While everyone has a personal list of activities and dreams, there are times when they get put off due to life’s busy schedules. One of the most common problems seniors face is loneliness, which can also seriously affect their mental health.
How can you help the elderly with declining mental efficiency?
Just like the body needs to be stimulated and physically active to stay healthy, so does the brain to avoid cognitive decline as we age. Harvard Health Publishing argues that brain gaming can enhance certain thinking skills, including processing speed, planning and reaction times, and short-term memory.