The secret to optimal senior mental health is to stay challenged and engaged. If your senior loved one lives alone or in assisted living, they may struggle to do so. This can lead to loneliness and depression, both common among aging adults. And too often, depression goes without notice because it may seem to be a symptom of some other health issue. Don’t let depression take over your senior loved one’s life. Stay on top of their mental health. Challenge them. And guide them to stay connected.
How to Improve Senior Mental Health
As a daughter, son, granddaughter, grandson, sister, brother or friend of an aging adult, you want them to live out their life to the fullest. Senior mental health largely determines the quality of an aging adult’s life. Here are a few ways to help ensure your senior experiences optimal mental health:
Encourage them to Exercise
Exercise is one of the quickest ways to experience a mental health boost. It is good for the mind and the body. Encourage your senior to exercise to their best ability. If they have physical impairments, modify the movements or consider chair exercise as an alternative. The more they move the better.
Keep them Social and Connected
Make sure your senior is socially active. Most community centers offer classes and groups for seniors to stay involved. Many times transportation is offered for those who no longer drive and need a ride. These classes offer a chance for your senior to connect with other seniors, and form friendships.
Bring Family to Visit
Make sure your family stays connected with your aging loved one. They’ve most likely been the rock of the family for many years. It can be hard for younger family members when their matriarch or patriarch gets older, but it’s important that your senior feel they are still a part of the family.
Teach them a New Technology
Technology is moving at a very fast pace and this pace seems even faster as your brain slows down when you’re older. Teaching your senior how to use current technology so they can stay connected with the younger generation and enjoy what technology has to offer.
Find Continuing Learning Opportunities
An active and engaged mind is less likely to succumb to depression. You’re never too old to learn something new. Seek out opportunities for your senior to continue learning. Think of something they always wanted to learn if only they had enough time when they were younger. They’ll likely love the chance to tackle it now!
Introduce them to a Furry Friend
It’s long been known that pets have a positive effect on mental health. Your senior is no exception. If you don’t have a pet of your own, consider visiting someone who does with your senior. It will be worth it to see the light in their eyes!
Get Them Involved with Helping Someone Else
One of the best ways to add meaning to your life is to help someone else. Giving back can help your senior feel like they have a specific purpose. This can go a long way for their mental health.
At Unlimited Care Cottages, we promote a high quality of life for our seniors. Senior mental health is a priority and we constantly encourage our seniors to engage with one another and for families to visit their homes. If you are looking for a place for your senior to call home, contact us for a tour of one of our cottages.