May 11, 2023

Why Seniors Should Give Mental Health the Attention It Deserves

The last three years have been a challenging time, causing many people to be concerned with their mental health. This trend has hit seniors particularly hard. According to the CDC, 20% of adults over 55 are concerned about mental health issues like cognitive decline, anxiety, and depression.

The impact of mental health related issues on senior citizens is an important topic that should be treated with legitimacy. Psychological and emotional well-being are linked to physical health, and people who experience untreated stress and anxiety may be at a higher risk of developing chronic disease.

As research surrounding mental health continues to grow, it is important to talk about the latest solutions with peers and loved ones. Below is a list of habits recommended by the team at Kline Galland to boost your mental well-being:

  1. Nourish the brain. Diet impacts mental and physical health. Eating a variety of whole foods packed with nutrients can help your brain sustain energy throughout the day. Include fruits and vegetables in every meal and be sure to stay hydrated! Keeping a refillable water bottle nearby is one way to ensure that you are reaching your daily recommended intake of water.
  2. Get quality rest. Sleep acts as the body’s natural way of recharging the brain, all while removing toxic waste that built up throughout the day. According to the American Psychology Association, getting the recommended 7-10 hours of sleep is necessary for seniors to live a healthier, happier, and longer life.
  3. Engage the brain with a new hobby. Activities like puzzling, reading, gardening, cooking, or socializing with friends can strengthen the brain, reduce stress and anxiety, boost mood, and lower the risk of dementia.
  4. Connect with community. Becoming an active member of your community can foster connections and build a sense of purpose – both known to combat stress and anxiety. Try meeting with family and friends, connecting with neighbors, exploring community-based programs, or signing up for some volunteer work to help kickstart connections!
  5. Move your body. Exercise is universally recognized for its positive impact on physical health but not recognized enough for its crucial role in mental well-being. Getting just 30-60 minutes of physical activity a day can significantly boost your mood and increase endorphins in the brain. Implementing daily walks, resistance training, or a form of group exercise all serve as remedies for combatting depression and anxiety.

It is brave to seek out support when you need it, as it is likely that your peers are struggling with their own stress. By talking to a trusted friend or family member about what is causing you stress, you allow room for creative solutions. If you have any questions about managing mental health for yourself or seniors in your life, please don’t hesitate to call Kline Galland’s Senior Care Resource Line at 206-723-INFO (4636).