Aging can be tricky to come to terms with, especially when considering cognitive decline, memory difficulties, and, of course, loneliness. Each of these aspects makes the elderly especially susceptible to mental health struggles, with as many as 20 percent of older people experiencing mental health difficulties.
It’s not uncommon for seniors to suffer from anxiety, as well as serious mood and cognitive impairment disorders, like depression or bipolar. These conditions can negatively affect health and wellness for older people in a physical, mental, and emotional capacity. Therefore, there are a number of measures that seniors might employ in an attempt to keep mental health struggles at bay.
Stay Connected with Others
Loneliness is common in seniors, especially if they’re widowed. This is one of the leading causes of mental health problems in the elderly, meaning staying connected is important. From relocating to residential caravan parks to attending social clubs, there are multiple ways in which seniors can stay connected with others.
Today, it couldn’t be easier to stay connected, especially with the likes of social media and video conferencing platforms. Despite this, seniors haven’t grown up with this technology, meaning it can seem intimidating and confusing. Even so, it’s important to persevere and learn in order to stave off loneliness.
Upon retiring, many people start to feel quite useless. For years on end, they’ve gotten out of bed to go to work. Suddenly, they have nothing there to force them out of bed. As a result, elderly people can feel a sense of purpose and find fulfillment by volunteering for a cause that’s important to them.
There are various causes and organizations that require support, meaning seniors can get involved and feel needed and valued. In addition to being beneficial to their mental and emotional health, volunteering can also be an asset to their physical health, as it gets them up and moving.
Keep up with Hobbies
Hobbies are so important at any age, but they’re especially vital during the retirement years. As previously mentioned, working life sees us having to get out of bed each morning and keeps us occupied throughout the day. When retirement rolls around, there suddenly isn’t a clear reason to get out of bed. As a result, retired individuals must make their own reasons for getting up in the morning.
Whether it’s knitting, gardening, reading, or something else, there are a number of activities that seniors can engage with. Retirement is the ideal time to enjoy the hobbies one simply might not have time for during the working years.
Regardless of age, we should all be getting a significant of exercise to remain fit and healthy. As we age, though, it becomes more important to keep the joints moving to prevent them from seizing up. This doesn’t mean that seniors should be carrying out intense workouts; however, they should be doing regular, low-impact exercises. These include walking, yoga, Pilates, or anything that’s active and enjoyable.
This fitness reduces the likelihood of falls, and physical and mental health go hand in hand. We all have days where we simply can’t be bothered, but exercise is incredibly valuable.
Keep the Mind Active
In addition to keeping the body active, it’s also important to keep the mind active in old age. Many people notice their memory decline as they age, and brain training can help prevent this from happening. From crosswords to sudokus, there are a number of brain games that force us to think and keep our minds in gear. Feeling capable in this way is great for mental well-being.