Isolation, depression, anxiety disorders, physical disabilities, malnutrition and chronic illness are responsible for the deterioration of a person’s mental health as they approach old age.
Eating a healthy and balanced diet is important for both the physical and mental wellbeing.
Malnutrition can make seniors vulnerable to a variety of chronic health conditions which can impact their mental health negatively. It also increases the risk of other health conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
Seniors’ diet should meet their nutritional requirements and include foods which are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and proteins. This will help them stay energized and improve their immune system.
Many people associate exercise with only physical health.
The fact is that exercise impacts a person mentally just as much as it does physically.
The endorphins which are released during exercise makes you feel better and also improves your mental concentration.
Thus, it is important for seniors to engage in simple physical exercise every day in order to maintain physical fitness, improve self-esteem and reduce anxiety.
They should aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity even if it is something as simple as walking.
Some of the best exercises for seniors include water aerobics, Pilates, resistance training and chair yoga. If there are no major physical limitations, seniors can also take part in cardio.
Connecting With Peers
Since there is an increased risk of isolation in old age, it is important that seniors stay connected with their peers in order to prevent conditions like depression and anxiety.
Good social connections are associated with longevity of life, better self-esteem, sense of belonging and fewer physical health problems.
Many senior nursing homes provide opportunities for social interaction through book clubs, picnic brunches, day trips and holiday celebrations. Seniors get to spend time with their peers in a happy and relaxed setting.
Spending Time With Family
Seniors who maintain strong ties with their family are said to be more mentally healthy and happy.
Since seniors are more likely to stay at home, proper efforts need to be taken to connect with family members who have moved away.
They must be given opportunities to interact with their grandchildren and go on family trips. If the family lives far away, phone calls and social media are great ways to stay in touch.
Caring For A Pet
Pets can kill loneliness in seniors as they can provide companionship and affection.
This leads to decreased depression especially for people who deal with the problem of isolation.
Caring for a pet helps keep the senioroccupied with activities like walking the pet, feeding and playing with them.
A pet can also be a helper and act as a protector for seniors.
Learning New Things
Retired seniors have plenty of time at their disposal to learn new things which they couldn’t do earlier.
Keeping their brain challenged can improve mental health and wellbeing.
There are a variety of hobbies and activities to consider like pottery, knitting, painting, cooking and even learning a new language.
Volunteering has countless benefits.
- It helps bridge the gap between the seniors and youngsters by providing opportunities for interaction and making new connections.
- It will help seniors stay involved and busy.
- Volunteering improves a senior’s cognitive health since it helps keep the brain active.
- Gives the senior a sense of purpose and accomplishment.
- Helps promote physical activity.
If you know any seniors, make sure to check on them every now and then. Spend time with them even if it is just a casual chat.