As we age, our physical, emotional, and mental well-being can easily take a hit. Senior health and wellness can take a toll on mental health in particular. Fortunately, there are things you can do to promote better elderly mental health and boost overall wellness in later life and health. Keep reading to learn more about improving elderly mental health.
Be Mindful of Diet and Nutrition
A balanced diet and adequate nutrition are very important for elderly mental health. Eating whole, nutrient-dense foods — such as vegetables, fruits, and healthful proteins — helps to regulate blood sugar, boosts energy levels, and supports emotional stability. Additionally, make sure to include foods high in omega-3s, such as fish, nuts, and avocados.
Stay Physically Active
Getting regular exercise helps to promote physical and mental wellness and keeps our bodies in good shape. While it’s important for seniors to stick with activities that are gentle on the joints, such as walking, swimming, and stretching, any exercise can help to improve cognitive function, regulate mood, and reduce the risk of depression.
Make Connections and Stay Socially Engaged
Social isolation and loneliness can have a huge negative impact on elderly mental health. To avoid the potential adverse health effects of social withdrawal, it’s important to stay connected with loved ones, join local community activities, and attend social events. Being part of a larger community strengthens feelings of purpose and belongingness and helps reduce feelings of loneliness and depression.
Engage in Stress-Relieving Activities
Stress is as commonplace for seniors as for anyone else and it’s important to prevent it from contributing to elderly mental health concerns. Developing healthy coping strategies, such as daily meditation and deep breathing, can help to reduce stress levels. Additionally, engaging in creative activities, such as gardening, painting, or writing, helps to foster peace of mind.
Getting enough sleep plays a major role in elderly mental health. Sleep helps to promote mental clarity, cognitive performance, and emotional balance. Setting a strict bedtime and practicing good sleep hygiene, such as removing electronic devices from the sleeping area, can help to ensure quality shuteye each night.
Talk to Your Doctor
If you or an elderly loved one are struggling with mental health issues, reach out to your doctor for support. Your primary care provider can recommend helpful treatments — such as medication, counseling, and therapy — and resources in your local area. Taking proactive steps to manage elderly mental health concerns can help seniors to lead fulfilling, long, and healthy lives.
By incorporating some tips and strategies, such as those discussed above, elderly individuals can effectively and positively address mental health issues. Improving elderly mental health requires focus, dedication, and effort — but it is achievable.