Many people are vulnerable to mental health issues, but seniors, in particular, tend to be even more susceptible. In many cases, sadness and social isolation have additional negative side effects, and they may even raise the risk of serious health problems. This isn’t something we ever want anyone to deal with, especially our elderly loved ones. The good news is that a number of activities, exercises, and resources can keep them engaged and in good mental health. Read through some of these top mental wellness tips for seniors, and try adding them into your loved one’s life.
Play Mind Games
As important as it is for the body to stay physically active, the brain needs just as much stimulation to stay sharp, especially as the body gets older. To avoid significant cognitive decline, seniors must keep their minds engaged. An excellent way to do so is to play some mind games, from phone apps to activities such as learning a new language, learning an instrument, and reading. The more of these activities your loved one can utilize, the sharper their minds will stay.
Stay Physically Active
As we mentioned, consistent physical activity is important for anyone, and older bodies need that daily movement more than ever. This movement may not look the same as it did in the past, but it’s important nonetheless. There are many ways to keep your senior’s fitness in check. One is to encourage walks to the local park—the walking itself is great exercise, and the energy your loved one expends at the park will rejuvenate them.
Encourage Consistent Connection with Friends
Public parks offer more benefits for seniors outside of the physical activity. One of the biggest benefits of parks is that they encourage connection. Providing an intergenerational community for seniors, parks are inclusive places for seniors to tap into their communication and stave off loneliness and isolation.
Keep Them Involved with Family
It’s vital for seniors to stay involved in family affairs. Weekly phone calls are a great start, but planning regular dinners with your loved one is even better. This time you spend with them can be such an influential shift from the sadness and vulnerability that members of older generations often feel.
Get Them a Pet
When appropriate, animals can play big roles in keeping seniors active while offering companionship in the process. If your loved one can’t have a pet themselves, then going with them to volunteer at an animal shelter is always a lovely choice as well!