According to research, seniors are at a high risk of having mental health issues like depression, cognitive impairment, and depression. The same study shows that at least 20% of senior citizens suffer particular mental health challenges. These issues come about because of loneliness, stress, and lack of a sense of purpose, to name a few.
Below are five ways seniors can improve their mental health.
1. Increase Social Interaction
One of the easiest and most efficient ways of improving seniors’ mental health is by increasing social interaction. Most of the time, seniors suffer social isolation and loneliness. Most of them live alone, and their families do not visit as often as they should.
Loneliness can result in stress and unhealthy living habits. Increasing social interaction can help reduce loneliness. You can introduce seniors to age-appropriate classes and workshops to meet and interact with other people, so that they feel less lonely.
2. Exercise Regularly
Regular exercises are beneficial for everyone, especially seniors. Many seniors suffer from stress and depression because handling this new phase of their lives can be challenging. They often do not have an outlet for their feelings. This means that they have to suppress their emotions, which may result in severe issues like depression.
Jane Byrne, project manager at Firstcare, notes that, “Regular exercise can act as an outlet for their suppressed emotions. Adults with health issues like Alzheimer’s may also benefit from exercises as it helps increase chemical levels in the brain to counter cell degradation. Exercising also releases endorphins which help induce feelings of happiness and can help boost an elderly person’ mood.”
3. Try Meditation
Meditation is essential for improving mental health in everyone. In seniors, it is necessary because it increases mindfulness and revitalizes the mind. It also helps them manage stress better.
Regular meditation works by calming the mind and body through breathing techniques and heightening awareness of one’s surroundings. It is highly beneficial for seniors battling anxiety and depression. An elderly person should get professional guidance when meditating. Homes for seniors usually try to bring in meditation experts to help seniors living in their facilities.
4. Learn Something New
Learning something new helps give seniors a sense of purpose. When seniors retire, their children move out and become free from the responsibilities of raising a child. Even if they are freer to do what they want, they might feel like they have lost purpose in life. This can cause depression, stress and a myriad of negative feelings that are not mentally healthy.
Learning something new can help to heighten a sense of accomplishment and purpose. Seniors can pick up short courses like cooking, arts and crafts and even learn how to play new games. This will help keep them busy and keep their minds off stressful issues.
5. Have a Well Balanced Diet
A well-balanced diet can help promote mental health among seniors. Therefore, seniors need to pay attention to what they eat. They need to have a healthy and balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, carbohydrates, and nuts.
Sometimes, moving to a senior living community can help improve seniors’ mental health significantly. These facilities allow them to socialize, get long-term care, and embark on a new journey. Reducing stressors, listening to music, and nurturing a positive mindset can go a long way in improving the mental health of seniors.