When it comes to senior health, particularly mental health, one of the first things that comes to mind is dementia or cognitive problems. While it is true that Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive impairment issues can occur with age, not everyone will experience severe deterioration in mental acuity as they get older Other common issues related to mental health that are experienced by seniors are depression and anxiety. These problems can often be attributed to lack of socialization and losing aging friends who pass on. There doesn’t have to be a stigma attached to these occurrences. As with other age groups, there is treatment. You can also take on some simple lifestyle changes in order to improve your overall emotional wellbeing. Here are some ways seniors can improve mental health.
Yes, exercise is good for your mind, as well as your body. A daily walk, or even some chair exercises if you are physically limited, can help to improve your mood. Take your exercise routine a step further and join a class at the senior center or the gym. Engaging with others while you work out will provide added social benefits.
Speaking of social benefits, taking time to get involved with spiritual activities, groups, teams or one on one with friends helps to keep your spirits up. Even visits with family can give you the social support and love that helps to keep depression at bay.
Taking a class at the senior center or even at the local community college can do a great deal to help strengthen and maintain your cognitive skills. A strong mind is more likely to be a happy mind. Many community colleges offer courses to seniors for free. Now is the perfect time to learn about something that has always interested you. It’s also great to expose yourself to people of various age groups. You might learn a thing or two from each other!
Rescue a Pet
Head to the shelter and find yourself a furry friend. You’ll be providing an animal a home, and you’ll reap enormous benefits from the experience. Taking care of a pet can give you a sense of purpose, provide you with companionship, lessen depression and help to calm anxiety or agitation.
As you can see, there are a number of things you can do as a senior to improve your mental health. Taking positive steps to stretch your mind and stay involved with people will help to keep you sharp and happy.