Improving Mental Health in Older People

As we get older, it’s more important than ever to make sure we keep an eye on our mental health. Ageing not only increases susceptibility to memory loss but also increases the likelihood of experiencing feelings of loneliness, which can in turn lead to mental ill-health such as depression and anxiety.

We’ve put together a few quick tips to help keep the mind nimble and stave off negative thoughts.

Staying in Touch 

One of the most important things we can do to combat mental health problems is talk to loved ones. Bottling up thoughts, feelings and emotions is never a good way to cope. Picking up the phone is a simple solution that allows you to spend time connecting with the important people in your life whilst allowing you the time to talk about you. The days of a stiff upper lip are far behind us, it’s time to open up and be honest! If you do struggle to find someone to talk to, we can arrange companionship visits to provide a listening ear.

Exercising the Mind

Keeping the mind active is the best way to keep it ticking over as normal. Reading regularly is a great first step, whether it be perusing the daily paper or getting lost in the latest book from your favourite author. If reading has never really been your thing, you can always consider writing, activities such as journaling have been proven to help manage the effects of anxiety. Other efficient pastimes include puzzles, crosswords, games, playing instruments or even learning a new language. Learning is actually a brilliant way to keep the mind quick. If you’d like a little help, organisations such as U3A (University of the Third Age) can introduce you to new topics and pursuits or help you revive a school age interest. Find your nearest group.

Exercising the Body

It can become difficult to maintain a healthy level of physical activity as we get older and our bodies no longer work like they used to. This doesn’t mean that exercise is any less important, it just means that we have to work within our limits. Maybe you can pop out for a little wander around the block every day or maybe it needs to be something smaller than that like squeezing a stress ball whilst your favourite soap is on. Most gyms run senior exercise classes or you can even get local instructors to visit you at home.

Socialising & Volunteering

Joining local groups is a great way to combat the loneliness that can lead to negative feelings and thoughts. Keep an eye on our blog for information regarding social groups in your area coming soon. Another fun idea is to volunteer for an organisation close to your heart. Not only does this help the local community and keep your mind busy but it can provide a feeling of fulfilment and sense of purpose which can be hard to come by when we retire from work.

Pets

Having a furry companion (or scaly companion for that matter!) can dramatically increase feelings of love and happiness in a pet owner. Whether you’re a dog person or a cat person (or something a little more unusual), having an animal to share your home with can make you more social, more active and give you more of that lovely sense of purpose that we already talked about.

If you like any of these ideas but need a little help making them happen, please contact us for more information about how we can help you realise your goals. Our Angels can offer assistance with attending groups, pet care, help using technology or even just pop buy for a cup of tea and a chat.