Achieving mental wellness at any age is important
Older adults, 60 years of age and older, our are important contributors to society as family members, employees and volunteers in the community. Unfortunately, many older adults are dealing with mental health issues. According to the World Health Organization, “more than 20% of older adults have a mental or neurological disorder. The most common are dementia and depression.”
“Addressing the mental health and wellness of an older adult is just as important as any other age population. Although the statistics are low, many older adults are at risk for developing mental illness,” said Christina Evans, LCSW, OP Therapist, Acenda. “We need to remember to be mindful of our elderly loved ones and neighbors that may need a little extra assistance from time to time or could use a simple friendly hello or phone call to check on their well-being or to just make their day to remind them how valued they are.”.
Mental illness in older adults can be due to many factors, including grief and loss, loneliness, and physical illness. However, there are ways we can support our older adults in helping them stay mentally healthy.
Below are 5 steps to encourage positivity:
1. Stay active. Whether it’s taking a walk, spending time whipping up a recipe or gardening, doing something active and enjoyable can improve mood and reduce stress.
2. Remain connected. Although COVID-19 has limited interaction, the more this population can interact with each other, even through phone calls or mobile devices, the more they will feel less lonely and connected to others.
3. Stress management. Reducing anxiety and stress is helpful for a healthy life. Getting enough sleep can help with stress and anxiety.
4. Rely on a support system. It’s important for older adults to have family and friends to talk to or to ask for help when needed. Having others to talk to and let them know if they are struggling is important. They can also help with errands or appointments if need be. Support groups can also be beneficial.
5. Keep the mind sharp. Whether it’s keeping up with world events, joining an online book club, journaling, or doing crossword puzzles, using knowledge and memory can help in the aging process. Breathing techniques and mindfulness exercises are also helpful.
Older adults who are struggling are not alone. Our clinicians are available to help with any concerns or symptoms that older adults might be experiencing. Call our main number at 844-4-ACENDA (844-422-3632 x9500) for more information.