The Best Ways to Improve Senior Mental Health

senior mental health

While it’s normal to feel down from time to time, when seniors are isolated and lonely, more serious conditions like depression can become common. Depression is much more than feeling sad or blue; it’s a medical condition that can have serious physical effects on your overall health.

Aging and Mental Health

According to the CDC, depression is definitely not a normal part of the aging process. However, older adults tend to be more at risk for depression due to factors like social isolation, medical conditions like heart disease or stroke, or medication side effects. Plus, seniors may be less likely to admit that they are feeling depressed and not get the treatment they need to improve their quality of life.

The CDC reports that along with depression, around 20 percent of people over the age of 55 suffer from mental health conditions like bipolar disorder, anxiety, cognition issues or a combination of all the above. When mental health becomes compromised, older adults become more at risk for losing their independence.

Keeping Positive – How to Improve Senior Mental Health

The good news is that there are ways to improve senior mental health and keep a positive outlook on life! The key to optimal mental health is to focus on three areas:

Staying Socially Active

Social isolation is a key factor leading to depression and other mental health conditions in older adults. Luckily, there are plenty of ways for seniors to remain socially active as they age. Keeping in touch regularly with family and friends is now easier than ever thanks to technology like Skype, Facetime or social media. Or, seniors can consider taking classes at a community college, volunteering at a local hospital or animal shelter, joining a book or garden club, etc.

Maintaining Physical Activity Levels

Regular exercise does more than keep the body in good shape. Physical activity can also positively affect the brain; a number of studies have shown the correlation between physical health and mental health. Exercise releases chemicals in the brain that not only increase energy, but also improve mood. Seniors of all fitness levels can take part in a variety of exercises, from simply taking a daily walk to strength training and light aerobics, or chair exercises for those with mobility issues.  Or, consider joining a senior exercise program that offers classes dedicated to the specific needs of older adults.

Keeping Your Brain Engaged

Challenging the brain throughout the aging process is vital not only for better mental health, but also for giving the memory a boost. An active brain allows for sharper concentration, enhanced function and focus, and improved problem-solving skills. Seniors can consider playing brain games that increase mental productivity, learning a new language or instrument, or taking up a new hobby to keep the brain active and engaged.

Positive mental health is as important as physical health for seniors to continue to thrive and enjoy life to the fullest.

American Senior Communities offers a variety of senior healthcare services throughout our locations. Contact us today to request more information.

Subscribe to Our Blog

Recent Posts

Did you enjoy this article? Share it with your friends!

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on email
Email
Share on print
Print
Disclaimer: The statements on this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The author does not in any way guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any message and will not be held responsible for the content of any message. Always consult your personal physician for specific medical advice.