How to Maintain the Mental Health of Seniors
Aging, like every other thing in life, has its developmental issues. But it also comes with wisdom, free time, experience and maturity, and it is an excellent opportunity to pass on the experiences to future generations. Aging brings a gradual decline in our physical abilities, but it is downright wrong to link aging with physical and intellectual disability.
Each cell in our bodies has a life cycle, and various environmental and genetic factors are involved in its life cycle. Aging also changes the structure of the cells.
But seniors can easily maintain their physical and mental abilities during their golden years; there are various ways to sustain mental health during old age. Today’s article on Living Maples will introduce some tips to achieve just that.
Tips on Maintaining the Mental Health of Seniors
- Pay attention to depression and anxiety symptoms: Depression and anxiety sometimes coexist with old age. If you have recently felt mood swings, decreased energy, and decreased enjoyment of daily activities, consult a psychiatrist.
- Studying: Research shows that the more the elderly learn and read different books, they will achieve better mental health.
- Enough rest and sleep: Adequate sleep and rest will help you have a calm mind. Get 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Taking a nap during the day for half an hour can adjust bodily functions.
- Avoid stress: Stress can have severe consequences on the mental health of seniors, and it can disrupt bodily functions, the functioning of the nervous system, memory, and concentration. To deal with stress, one must first find the source and deal with it. Activities such as walking, sports, recreational activities, and relaxation (meditation and yoga) or going on vacation for a few days can help reduce stress.
- Protecting and preventing brain injuries: Falling is the most common cause of brain injury in old age. These injuries can lead to a decline in brain capacity, so we must adequately protect the brain as the body’s most valuable organ. The walking path of the elderly and places where there is a possibility of slipping should be fixed, and there should always be enough light in the house to prevent falling. Talk to your doctor if you feel unbalanced while standing or walking.
Motivational Tips on Improving Mental Health of Seniors
- Not giving up the job and willingness to work: Working has a good impact on the mental health of the elderly, and seniors who work part-time or full-time have better mental health.
- Keep in touch: Depression and loneliness are among the issues that most elderly suffer from. However, they are easy to manage if the elderly keep in touch with their loved ones. Studies show that contacting family members, whether in person or via social media and video chatting, can enhance the mood and mental health of the elderly and create a sense of worthiness in them.
- Maintain Social Relationships: Social relationships with friends, family, relatives, and co-workers help maintain mental health. Studies have shown that people who interact well with family members, relatives, and social groups develop Alzheimer’s symptoms later than those isolated and alone, so it is recommended that the elderly maintain these relationships.
- Exercise your mind and brain: Some distractions are considered normal in old age. Stress, anxiety, and busy living can also interfere with your memory and concentration. Engage your mind by solving various crosswords and puzzles, increasing your general knowledge by reading books, and listening to podcasts, which are both one of the best hobbies for seniors.
- Ask for help: Family members and friends are usually available during crises, but in case you are unable to ask for their support, you may ask a professional caregiver to attend and solve your issues and trust in their abilities since they have years of training behind them and are not unfamiliar with such situations.
Exercise and Diet Tips
- Start physical activity today: The sooner you start regular exercise, the more benefits you will gain. Exercise reduces chronic diseases such as atherosclerosis, lowers blood pressure, lowers blood fats, etc. A regular and gentle daily physical activity, such as walking for 30 minutes a day, reduces cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis incidence. This improves your respiratory function, blood flow, and ultimately a general feeling of physical and mental health relaxation. In many cases, diet and exercise, without additional surgical or medical interventions, can stop the process of a disease.
- Enroll in various classes: It is never too late to learn. Learn to work with computers and contact your friends and acquaintances by e-mail. You can also enroll in sports classes. Engagement in various courses can improve seniors’ mental health to a considerable extent. Avoid solid fats, maintain a healthy weight, use all food groups, mostly fresh fruits and vegetables. You also need to use dairy products, and do your best to maintain your health.
Warnings for Mental Health of Seniors
It is quite natural for the elderly to experience physical and mental changes due to their age. But these changes should not restrict them. However, some changes can act as a forewarning for some severe disorders, and timely management is a must. The following are some warning signs that need to be considered:
- Not paying enough attention to appearance
- Unstable weight and appetite changes
- Depression lasting for more than two weeks
- A sense of guilt and considering suicide
- Not being able to remember various events related to short-term memory
- Chronic pains in various parts of the body
- Not being able to calculate and work with numbers
- Fatigue, loss of energy, and sleep disorders
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is necessary to visit your doctor’s office as soon as possible.
The bottom line is
With health and vitality, longer life can be a better life, but it requires certain changes. In this regard, the greatest challenge is not increasing our lifespan but rather increasing the number of years we can be fully active, independent, and happy. Getting enough sleep, exercising, social interaction habits, and disease prevention will help us live longer and healthier during our golden years.