Guest Author: Emma is part of the community team at Greenwood Homecare who provide a range of high quality care services. Emma is passionate about improving the quality of care that elderly people receive in the UK and around the world.
For a long time now, the issue of mental health has always been regarded as a taboo. In fact, it’s only recently that the society has started to embrace the fact that loneliness, depression, and other conditions are serious, real, and treatable conditions that affect a large number of people especially seniors. According to statistics, almost 10 percent of seniors will at one time experience mental health that’s serious enough to warrant treatment. These are some of the tips that can help you improve your senior’s mental health.
Encourage them to be active
An active mind generally includes a healthy body. According to recent research, moderate exercise especially weight training can greatly help in treating mild depression. Strengthening joints, muscles, and bones can also decrease the chance of immobility and falls and improve balance. You, therefore, need to encourage your senior to join a fitness club, take a fitness class or just go golfing with friends. They may also keep their minds active by playing chess, doing puzzles, and taking a course.
Give them a pet
Whether he is a pet person or not caring for a pet can be very helpful. An animal will make your senior less depressed, more socially engaged, and less agitated. This is according to a recent research published in the Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research. One of the best things to get him or her a pet.
Encourage him to be social
One of the main causes of mental illness among seniors is isolation and loneliness. As a matter of fact, feeling isolated is as bad as smoking 10 cigarettes a day. Staying social and connected can greatly improve the health of seniors since they may be having limited mobility or missing their spouses. Encourage him to call and meet people in their house or just start a hobby which they can share with others.
Introduce him to spirituality or religion
As they age, many elderly people usually turn more and more to God. Apart from improving their spiritual well being, this can give them an ample time to interact and socialize. Being involved in religious or spiritual practice can greatly boost their well being. Once they start doing this, they will soon be happy.
Get him some music to listen to and introduce him to technology
Regardless of your age, music has always had a positive effect on people. It’s, therefore, the perfect thing to combat feelings of depressions, mental health loneliness, and deep sadness. According to research, music can lift spirits and soothe anxious nerves. Add some music to their lives and encourage them to join a music group or local choir. Staying in touch on sites such as Twitter and Facebook can also prevent isolation especially when they are far away from their loved ones.
These are some of the tips that can help your senior cope with their loneliness and improve their mental health. However, if you feel that hopelessness is creeping in and their ability to cope is diminishing then you need to seek further help. You can ask your healthcare expert who will be able to help you further.