Some of the elderly in our society are at significant risk of mental wellness problems. Due to old age, they tend to neglect their physical health, have unhealthy habits, and have reduced social interactions.
Mental wellness may diminish when some or all of these aspects are ignored or minimal attention is given. Seniors could add a few easy steps to their daily routine to ensure they stay on top of their cognitive functions. Here are some ways that seniors can give a boost to their mental well-being:
Exercise is a great way to release more feel-good hormones in the brain for anyone struggling with the blues. It helps the lungs take in more oxygen, making the body feel more energized and ready for the day. Seniors do not have to go to the gym every day, though, but adding a walk in the garden, some light movement-based activity around the house, or even stay-in-bed aerobics could do just as well.
Although some of the new technological advances would be complicated for seniors, adaptive software or settings may make it easier for them to master.
Cellphones can display bigger fonts or options for text messages to be read aloud to the person. With some instant messaging platforms, there are voice notes that seniors can send instead of typing. Video-calling keeps seniors in touch with friends and family without the need to travel to see them.
Platforms like waywiser.life allow families, friends, and caregivers to communicate with each other, keeping everyone in the loop with what is happening.
Spending time with family and friends could keep the mind healthy by having stimulating conversations and doing fun activities.
The feeling of being a part of a community is very important for anyone, more so to our senior citizens. Frequent interaction between peers could improve their mood for the day, and these bonds could evolve into lasting friendships.
Fresh air and nature are two of the best remedies for mental wellness. Sunlight plays a vital role, too, as it helps our bodies produce enough vitamin D.
We usually take pride in tending to a vegetable garden or planting some pretty flowers. Activities like these make people want to get out of bed in the morning to see if any progress happened. A beautiful garden filled with aromatic smells could awaken the senses and leave anyone feeling more energized and recharged.
Sleeping provides the brain time to organize thoughts and feelings. When we deny our brain the necessary hours of rest it needs, it may start to go haywire and think crazy thoughts, especially if too much sleep is lost.
As we get older, our brain needs more sleep to recharge than we would when we were younger. It means that seniors should take some naps throughout the day and get enough sleep hours at night to maintain their mental wellness.
No one is ever too old to learn something new. We can spend time studying many new things, including languages, knitting techniques, or just some fun trivia.
Keep the brain sharp by training it to remember new facts. Read as many books as possible or find new things to occupy the mind daily. There is no need to take on a degree at university, but many self-development courses would be just as good for the faculties.
Looking after another living thing like a pet can be so rewarding. Pets give love and companionship freely, and the responsibility to take care of them would keep the mind busy.
Animals could have a therapeutic effect on a senior citizen’s life, giving them hope and a confidante somehow to listen to their musings. They could even help get the elderly to move more as they would need to walk their dogs or get up to feed and take care of their other needs.
Not only are games fun, but they also give the brain some much-needed stimulation. Games like bridge, shuffleboard, mini-golf, and others are popular among senior groups.
Many centers for seniors have a time slot where they invite their residents to play games like bingo because they understand the importance of these for the seniors’ mental well-being.
A religious or spiritual group could provide support and understanding when seniors need them. These groups could take the place of family or friends in cases when they are not available.
Devoting time to spiritual practices may take their mind off other pressing matters; the group’s closeness could boost their moods as well. If no religious or spiritual beliefs resonate with the senior, they could find a mindfulness practice that they could follow to make their day more engaging.
Taking a deeper look into oneself may open many doors to understanding and may spark personal growth and mental clarity.
Freely giving our time, attention, and compassion to another human being may be the most precious gift we can provide.
Volunteering at a local animal shelter, soup kitchen, youth center, or public services stimulates the mind. Thinking of others and not only the self could bring on feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction with the good deeds done.
Imparting years of knowledge onto the younger generation may help seniors feel they’re still appreciated. The young ones may have wit and sass, but they may also benefit from seniors as they recall the old days. Many teenagers need good role models, so having the elderly around may be good for both in the long run.
Seniors are generally loving and they deserve to be loved back. Providing them with opportunities to experience connections and empathy may stir up some long-forgotten feelings. Note that mental wellness is more than visiting a psychologist. It could also be maintained through daily activities.
As part of the more vulnerable group of society, the elderly would need more care than other adults. Looking after their mental well-being should be a top priority for their family, friends, and caregivers. In the end, all that matters is that they feel the love they would so willingly give to others.