Preserving the Mental Health of Seniors

10 Sep 2019
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Enjoying a healthy mental state in old age usually means a better quality of life. However, there is a large percentage of older people with psychiatric disorders, like   and dementia, which seriously affect their emotional and physical wellbeing.

Mental disorders are a major obstacle for the elderly, as they prevent them from fully enjoying what should be the golden years of their life. Although there are no reliable data on whether depression and anxiety increase with age, it is believed that these diseases occur more in the later stages of life. In fact, depression affects approximately 15 percent of the population over 65. Women, people living alone, and those with disabilities or physical illnesses are more likely to suffer from depression at this age.

We can do our best to preserve mental health in the elderly if we follow some practical advice. A good diet, some physical and mental exercise, and avoiding isolation are three keys for seniors to help face this stage of their lives with optimism.

Mental Exercises: Reading, doing sudoku or crossword puzzles, and playing games like dominoes or chess are activities that stimulate the brain and help create connections between neurons. In addition, games and puzzles help keep the mind off of everyday worries.

Skills that are not practiced are lost because synapses (or neural connections in the brain) are not reinforced. Invite your elders to perform their favorite mental activities as part of their daily routine.

Sunbathe: As long as you take measures to protect the skin, being out in the sun brings many advantages for the mental health of the elderly. In addition to being a good way to get some exercise, the sun helps the body get vitamin D necessary for bone health. And let’s not forget that UV rays promote the production of serotonin, which is essential for mood.

Break the Monotony: One of the main problems facing the elderly is loneliness and isolation. This leads to a routine and monotonous lifestyle that can bring on a depressive mood.

Invite the seniors in your life to participate in group activities with family, friends, or associations like a local senior center. Having something different to do – whether it’s an excursion, a dinner, or a game of cards – will help you turn off the television and break the routine. Being a socially active person is very positive for maintaining good mental health.

If isolation is a problem, one thing to consider is whether a senior living community would be right for your loved one. A prime example is Luxor Nursing and Rehab at Mills Pond and Sayville. The facility is home to people of all walks of life and age groups. They offer a wide variety of medical and rehabilitation services and are one of the top-rated facilities in Long Island, New York.

The environment fostered by Luxor is absolutely ideal for older individuals whose mental health could be at risk. They approach the subject of mental health in adults very cautiously and have dedicated programs, resources, and strategies to facilitate the mental wellbeing of their residents.

Develop creativity: Creativity and learning new things keeps the mind sharp.

It’s never too late to learn something they always liked, but they didn’t have time to do when they were young: writing, painting, taking pictures, or any other craft will be very stimulating for the brain.

All of the links in this article point to websites in Spanish.

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