Mental Health Awareness and its Essential Benefits for Seniors
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. This is a good time to put a spotlight on mental health, related research, and treatments. The information will help to debunk misconceptions, fight the stigma surrounding mental health issues, as well as enable you to care for your mental health.
Here's what you need to know.
Why is Mental Health Awareness Important for Seniors?
As we age, we are likely to experience certain life changes that impact our mental health. Therefore, when it comes to senior care, you should not overlook the importance of looking after mental health and well-being.
Here's why maintaining good mental health is important for seniors.
Improves overall well-being
Mental health impacts your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Caring for your mental health will help you feel better about yourself and your life.
Reduces the risk of mental health conditions
Taking care of your mental health can help to improve your mood, relieve stress, and keep your brain healthy. In turn, this will reduce the risk of mental conditions like anxiety, depression, as well as dementia.
It leads to healthier relationships
Caring for your mental health will also help build a sense of self-worth and boost your self-esteem. That way, you will be in a better position to cultivate and maintain healthier relationships.
Better physical health
Mental health and physical health are interconnected. Good mental health can affect your physical health positively, allowing you to thrive and enjoy life. This can enable you to maintain independence.
Better quality of life
Considering the associated benefits above, stable mental health can also help seniors to live better and longer.
How to Improve Mental Health in Seniors
Mental health problems are a normal part of aging. However, as an older adult, you need to be proactive in strengthening your mind. Practicing self-care in your daily life can have a huge positive impact on your mental and physical health.
Below are some mental health tips to help you get started.
To boost your mental health, eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water. A healthy, well-balanced diet can help to improve your memory, boost concentration, strengthen cognitive function, and even protect you from depression. A home health aide (HHA) or personal care assistant (PCA) can help to ensure you eat healthy, regular meals.
Get Regular Exercise
In addition to physical benefits, physical activity can help to boost your mood, alleviate anxiety, and reduce the symptoms of depression. To stay active and mentally organized, incorporate activities such as walking, dancing, yoga, as well as cycling into your daily routine. Mind games and puzzles will also help to keep your mind engaged.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is closely connected to mental health. Sleeping helps to repair and restore the brain. This is why you should not only get enough sleep but also stick to a regular sleep schedule.
As we age, it also becomes more difficult to stay connected with old friends and family members. This can lead to feelings of isolation, loneliness, and mental decline. To improve your mental health, try to socialize as often as possible. Connecting with loved ones online, writing letters, joining a book club, and getting together with family and friends are great ways to stay connected and get emotional support.
Focus on Positivity
Consciously practicing gratitude and combating negative thoughts can reduce anxiety and help with stress management. To improve your health, remind yourself of the things you are grateful for as well as replace unhelpful thoughts with those that make you feel better.
How to Participate in Mental Health Awareness Month
Caregivers, personal assistants, patients, as well as family members, can work together to change how society views mental illness and mental health. Here are a few ways you can get involved this Mental Health Awareness Month.
- Share your story
- Educate yourself on mental health topics
- Create a self-care routine
- Check in on those around you
- Support a mental health organization
Mental health awareness month is an opportunity to learn how seniors can improve their mental health. By educating yourself, you can take action to take better care of your mental health. Elite Home Health Care is one of New York’s fastest growing and most respected home health care agencies. If you or your aging loved one is in need of home care services, we will help match you with the caregiver that is right for you. With our flexible care plans and professional home health aides, you can rest assured that you will receive quality care in the comfort of your own home. Contact us today to learn more about our services.
Written by: Leah Ganz
Leah Ganz, RN, BSN is the Director of Patient Services at Elite Home Health Care. She has an extensive background in homecare and previously worked in various specialties including pediatrics, pain managemnet and internal medicine. She oversees allpatient services across Elite's departments.