One in every four older adults suffers from a mental condition such as dementia, anxiety, or depression. However, integrating these easy strategies to promote mental health and well-being will help discourage such threats and improve the aging population’s quality of life. Read on to find out how you can help yourself or your loved ones to experience healthy aging and longevity.
Put the Brain to Work
By increasing reasoning and cognition, speeding up information processing, and sharpening memory, keeping the brain busy can greatly improve your loved ones’ mental health and reduce the risk of dementia. Participate in at least 30 minutes of mind-stimulating activities every day, such as puzzles, reading, learning to play an instrument, board and card games, crossword puzzles, crafts, cooking in the kitchen, and closet organization. Playing games with others may help keep the brain engaged while also encouraging socializing.
Connecting with people goes beyond intimate circles, and there are various community-based groups available to your loved ones. Exploring local civic centers, adult day care programs, volunteer activities, and senior living programs are all excellent ways to meet new people.
Go outside, even if just for half an hour! A little excursion into nature may quickly improve one’s attitude and energy levels. Getting outside also provides vitamin D, which can prevent cognitive impairment and depression. Furthermore, because your loved ones are more prone to vitamin D insufficiency, being outside more frequently helps reduce such dangers.
Stay Physically Active
While most people associate exercise with physical advantages, it is also an important mental health activity. Exercise improves mood by producing endorphins and other feel-good chemicals in the brain and decreasing stress hormones, making it an effective treatment for both depression and anxiety.
Aim for 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity most days of the week, incorporating different types of movement such as aerobic, weight training, or balance exercises. Try group exercise as a fun method to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. The most important aspect is not necessarily the sort of exercise itself, but rather that you are moving your body.
Diet not only has physical effects on the body, but it may also have an impact on the mental health of your loved ones, for better or worse. Adopting a balanced and heart-healthy diet that is rich in healthy fats, lean meats, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains has been shown to boost brain function, with the potential to lower dementia and depression risk.
Get Quality Sleep
Sleep is an important component of mental health, and getting more sleep may lead to happier, healthier, longer, and safer lives. Unfortunately, your loved ones are more likely to have sleep problems and insomnia, which raises the risk of depression and other chronic disorders. So, if you’re having trouble getting the prescribed seven to nine hours of sleep every night, following the tips above could help you get a better night’s sleep.