7 Ways to Boost and Improve Mental Health in Seniors

Now, more than ever, mental health issues are being addressed. However, few people discuss how it impacts the elderly in significant numbers. A lot of life changes occur as people age. Some of these changes are exciting and meaningful, while others are more challenging. Seniors may experience emotional or social challenges they have never faced before, such as loneliness, physical issues, or the death of a spouse. It is important to safeguard your mental health as you age, as seniors are more vulnerable to developing mental health disorders. According to the American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry, 20% of adults aged 55 and up have a mental health concern. Anxiety, severe cognitive impairment, and mood disorders such as depression are the most frequent mental health problems among older adults.

There are several strategies to assist older individuals in improving their mental health.

Move Your Body 

Physical activity is one of the most beneficial mental health practices for people of all ages. Not only is exercise beneficial to your heart, joints, and muscles, but it also provides major mental health benefits for seniors. Exercising can help you feel better by reducing depression symptoms, reducing anxiety, and improving your mood.

Exercise can enhance your quality of life even if you don’t have a mental health disorder. Developing an exercise regimen gives your day structure and regularity, as well as the opportunity to get outside and interact with others. The physical health benefits can make you feel happier, too.

Get 7 Hours of Sleep 

In older adults, getting quality sleep is essential for mental health and a healthy immune system. Sleep deprivation has been linked to an increased risk of chronic illness. Every night, most healthy persons aged 65 and over require seven to 9 hours of sleep. These tips from the National Council on Aging will help you sleep better.

Enjoy Nature

According to the American Psychological Association, research is helping us better understand how spending time in nature may boost mental health and sharpen cognition. Many studies have shown that being in nature, or even gazing at photographs of nature, may assist with stress reduction, memory, and mood.

A short stroll in a nearby park, a visit to a local arboretum or botanical garden, or simply sitting on a bench or chair outside on a sunny day are all good ways to appreciate nature with an older loved one. While being outside is the easiest way to appreciate nature, it is not always because of extreme heat or cold, or if someone has restricted mobility. In these instances, look for alternatives for them to appreciate nature from the comfort of their own home.

Bring in easy-to-care-for plants or flowers, hang bird feeders outside a window, or buy a table-top terrarium that requires minimal care.

Get Creative! 

To be creative, you don’t have to be a professional artist or musician. Whether it’s a lifelong love or a new activity, the creative arts may be a useful tool for senior mental health.

Here are some creative or artistic activities to try out:

  • Scrapbooking
  • Knitting or crocheting  
  • Jewelry making
  • Painting 
  • Creative Writing
  • Musical Instruments
  • Singing

Because you can see the results of your work, creative hobbies are beneficial to senior mental health. You put in the time and effort to develop artistic skills, and you get to see the ultimate result. A sense of success may be very beneficial to your mental health, and you will have something to talk about or share with family and friends.

These pastimes can also be a cognitive challenge. Because cognitive health is inextricably tied to mental health, exercising your mind by learning these new skills may help you feel more alert, engaged, and motivated.

Play Games & Busy the Brain! 

By sharpening memory, speeding up information processing, and increasing reasoning and cognition, keeping the brain busy can greatly improve seniors’ mental health and reduce the risk of dementia. Spend a minimum of 30 minutes of mind-stimulating activities every day, such as puzzles, reading, learning to play an instrument, board and card games, crossword puzzles, crafts, cooking in the kitchen, or organizing a drawer or room in the house. 

Playing games with others may help keep the brain engaged while also encouraging socialization!

Be Socially Connected 

Social relationships have an influence on the physical and mental well-being of older adults. Seniors who are disengaged may experience loneliness and even isolation. This not only has an impact on mental health, but it may also have physical effects.  According to research, persons who engage in meaningful, useful activities enhance their mental health and cognitive performance. 

For older folks, scheduling regular social gatherings might be a terrific solution. It’s easy to go months without seeing a buddy, but by scheduling recurring meetups, you’ll ensure that the relationship is maintained. This is also a good way to get into a routine, which may improve senior mental health.  If you don’t have many close friends or family members nearby, you might search for social events in your community. There may be a senior meetup group or senior center in your area that offers classes or other gatherings. Some even provide transportation, making it much easier to attend these events.

Adopt a Pet

However, socializing is and can be much more than just human interaction... The advantages of senior pet ownership are numerous, including reduced feelings of isolation and depression as well as improved emotions of motivation and security.

Not to add that the advantages are not one-sided. Consider this: Seniors who adopt a pet are giving their new furry companion a fresh start in life!

Get Home Care Services for Thrive USA Home Care

Thrive USA Home Care can offer you the assistance you require to deliver the best care for your loved one. Schedule a free consultation with us today.

We’re Looking for Caregivers!

Consider a caregiver job with Thrive USA Home Care if you have a passion for service and make it your purpose to make someone’s day better. We have openings all over Maryland.

Spread the love