Four ways to encourage positive mental wellbeing in older people
It’s never too late to start looking after your mental health. It is just as important as being physically healthy, but is very commonly forgotten about and is often pushed to one side because of embarrassment or fear of being judged.
According to the Mental Health Foundation, depression affects around 22% of men and 28% of women aged 65 years and over. For an older person, they can experience many different changes in their life that could trigger a decline in their mental state, for example, bereavement, loneliness, health problems or money worries. These changes could lead to mental health problems such as depression or anxiety, so it’s important that you show your loved one support if they are going through any major life changes.
There are many ways that you can help your loved one and encourage them to lead a pro-active life. Finding new ways to fill their time and giving them the opportunity to meet like-minded people will help them gain confidence and a more positive look on life, although if you think your loved one is severely struggling with their mental health, it’s important to seek medical help.
Reviving a love for an old hobby or trying something they have never done before, hobbies are the perfect way to help refocus the mind on something more productive. Whether it’s a love for gardening or wanting to learn a new language, take a look at some clubs and classes that they can join and give them a chance to learn something new.
Make sure your loved one is keeping in touch with friends and other members of your family. If they are isolated and don’t have any friends or family nearby, why not suggest they join a social group? It’s the perfect chance for them to meet new people outside of their immediate circle.
Staying active and exercising is important whatever your age. Physical activity can assist in the production of mood enhancing chemicals in the brain, so while your muscles and joints are reaping the rewards of an aerobics class or a brisk walk around town, your mental state will benefit too.
It may seem obvious, but eating and drinking well can drastically improve a person’s mental wellbeing. Foods that are high in Vitamins B and D, such as fish and dairy, are ideal as they control the chemicals in the brain that influence mood. Also, it’s easy to forget that alcohol is a depressant (many people convince themselves that it’s a way to unwind after a stressful day), so limit your alcohol intake and try to keep the majority of the week alcohol free.
At Blenheim House, our team are on hand 24/7 to offer support and companionship to all of our residents. We ensure that there is always someone to talk to and we make sure your loved ones feel comfortable enough that they can tell us about any problem they may be experiencing.