Aging adults and seniors, in general, are vulnerable to several issues that affect their mental health. These include loneliness, cognitive decline, memory problems, hearing issues, etc. All these can affect their mental health. According to the CDC, an estimated 20% of people 50 years and older experienced one form of mental health decline, including depression, anxiety, and various mood disorders. And while it is possible for mental health issues to increase with age, issues like depression should not be a normal part of it. The following tips can help aging improve their mental health.
Make them a part of family gatherings to prevent loneliness
If you live with aging parents, the last thing you want to do is make them feel isolated, regardless of what health issue they’re struggling with. Living them alone in their rooms and only checking on them regularly is just not enough, so be sure to make them a part of family gatherings. For instance, instead of serving their meals in their rooms, try helping them to the dining table instead.
Alternatively, help them experience an active social life by signing them up to socialize at a senior center or club. This way, they can spend quality time engaging in various social activities with their peers.
You might also want to ensure that they get all the assistance they need to live healthy social lives. For instance, if an aging adult struggles with hearing loss, they may find it difficult to be part of social conversations. Hearing aids will be a perfect solution in this case. You can learn more about hearing aids for adults.
Regular 20-minute walks
Seniors need to maintain an active lifestyle to stay healthy. Of course, due to their decline in energy levels, hitting the gym or intensive workouts may be a bad idea – and thankfully, those aren’t even necessary. Going for a 20-minute walk every other day or three times a week is more than enough to keep seniors active and well-exercised. To make it feel less than a workout, seniors can try walking their dogs or taking strolls in parks.
Enjoy healthy mind games
Don’t get it twisted; mind games here refer to physical activities that will help stimulate the mind. Just as the body requires physical activities to stay healthy, the mind also needs its fair share of games and activities that will help support cognitive health, short-term memory, and planning skills. According to Harvard Health Publishing, such games can also sharpen thinking skills and enhance the brain’s thinking speed, so keep this in mind.
Serve meals rich in omega 3 and other essential nutrients for mental health
Nutrients like omega 3, vitamins B and D, folate, amino acids, plant-based oxidants, and macrobiotics are essential to mental health. That means you need to ensure that you serve meals that contain ingredients like salmon, chicken, whole grains, avocados, spinach, yogurt, and nuts, as these are rich in the nutrients needed to support mental health.