Mental health is important for all people, but it’s even more important for the elderly. It’s not uncommon to find issues with mental health in seniors, such as depression and anxiety. But here are six tips that can help you or a loved one stay mentally healthy.
1. Exercise your brain
Just as your body needs exercise, so does your brain. Puzzles, games, and mentally stimulating activities help keep your mind active and healthy.
If you don’t have any hobbies that require mental stimulation, now might be a good time to start! Some great options include crossword puzzles, Sudoku, word searches, chess, painting/drawing, knitting, crocheting, and baking.
The more variety you add to your activities, the better. Also, don’t forget that learning new things is a great way to keep your brain active. That might mean signing up for a chess openings class at the local community center or online.
If keeping your brain active is difficult due to physical limitations or health issues (e.g. dementia, Alzheimer’s), consider working with a therapist or counselor. This professional can help come up with mentally stimulating activities that are right for you.
2. Get some rest and sleep well
One of the most important things you can do to stay mentally healthy as you age is to get enough rest. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, for instance.
Also, make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool. It’s also a good idea to avoid watching television or using electronics in bed as they can interrupt sleep.
3. For better mental health in seniors: Exercise regularly
Another key part of staying mentally healthy as you age is exercise. A moderate amount of physical activity each day can help keep your brain sharp and reduce your risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Some great exercises for seniors include walking, swimming, biking, and Tai Chi. Always consult your doctor before making changes to your lifestyle, such as trying a new fitness activity or diet.
4. Maintain a routine schedule
If you are an older person, it is very important that you maintain a routine schedule. That will help keep your mind sharp and alert throughout the day.
If you don’t have anything to do during certain parts of the day, then try reading or playing games with other people to make sure that your brain stays active the entire time. It doesn’t matter what activities you choose as long as they stimulate something within your mind every day and are safe.
5. Volunteer for a good cause
Another great way to stay emotionally healthy as you age is to volunteer for a good cause. Doing something that gives back to the community not only feels good but also provides a sense of purpose and can help keep you mentally active.
When looking for a volunteer opportunity, consider your interests and skills. There’s sure to be an organization out there that needs someone with your particular talents! If you volunteer at a nursing home and you suspect something strange of any kind, you can always contact people like nursinghomelawcenter.org who will know what to do in the situation.
6. Keep emotionally fit with family and friends
One way to keep emotionally fit as you age is by staying connected with family and friends. These social contacts provide a sense of belonging and can help reduce stress.
You don’t have to be ultra-social, either. Just having regular contact with one or two people whom you trust can make a big difference in your emotional health.
A few last words on improving seniors mental health
In conclusion, these six mental health tips for older adults can help with mental health and well-being. While these tips are simple, they can make a big difference in an older person’s life. If you have any other questions or concerns about mental health in the elderly, be sure to speak with a healthcare professional. There are many virtual counseling options available should in-person therapy not be an option.