As your parents and relatives get older, they start to face more challenges physically, emotionally, and psychologically. It’s important to ensure the strength of their mental health to enable them to deal with the trials of aging fittingly.
The key to looking after their mental health is to help them cultivate great habits. You can start by helping them make small changes to their lifestyle that can add up to a major improvement. Their overall well-being depends on their mental health as well, so it’s very important to give them the boost they need.
What should you focus on to help your senior loved one take care of their mental health? Here are five things you can implement to give them support.
Help them stay active
If you want your senior loved ones to start forming healthy habits, exercise is a great first step to take. Not only will it help boost their mood by releasing endorphins or happy hormones, it will also reduce their risk of developing mental illnesses like depression and anxiety in old age.
Did you know that adults aged 65 and up are the most sedentary age group? It will benefit your loved one if you encourage them to work out regularly. Light to moderate physical activity will help keep them physically and mentally fit.
Walking 20 minutes for a few days a week and doing light weight training are great gateways to start living an active lifestyle. Let your senior loved one do activities they enjoy as well, whether it’s cycling, swimming, or tennis.
Help them eat right
Eating healthy becomes more important as your loved one ages. Eating habits are tied to mental health so encourage them to eat meals that nourish their body and their brain.
Did you know that consuming moderate amounts of carbohydrates can increase serotonin that gives a calming effect on your brain? Fruits and vegetables also help regulate your mood, while food rich in omega-3 helps with cognitive function.
Your senior loved one might find it laborious to prepare healthy meals on their own, so look out for them and do it when you can. Help them avoid junk or fast food to ensure that they are eating right to help with their overall well-being.
Your senior loved one might have all kinds of pent-up emotions, which isn’t healthy. The struggles of aging won’t be easy on them and they need an outlet to help them release their feelings.
Suggest journaling to your loved one to help them have an outlet for their feelings. No matter what they’re experiencing, they can write it down to help them process their emotions, and also ease their minds from any residual bad feelings they might have.
A gratitude journal might also allow them to become more positive and happy. Making a habit of writing down things they’re grateful for every day will help them improve their well-being and mental health.
Let them open up to you
A lot of senior adults find it difficult to speak their minds and share what they’re feeling. They probably carry guilt that hinders them from opening up to others, most especially to family members who take care of them.
Make your senior loved one feel that they can speak with you about their feelings anytime. Show them that you value their feelings and that they can trust you to listen to them without judgment.
Knowing that someone cares about how they feel at this point in their lives will be heartening, and will give them a more positive outlook on life. Lend an ear and or a shoulder when you can because it matters to them more than you think.
Invest in quality
If you want to give your senior loved one some peace of mind that will help improve their mental health, always look out for the quality of the products they use. They might be worried about their safety and it can add to their anxiety and stress. You have to make sure that they only use high-quality products.
Your senior loved one will probably hesitate to ask for anything that might need repairs or replacements, so ask them first but also try to find out on your own. They don’t want to be a burden so they might not speak up. You also need to figure out what they need by tuning into their health and behavior.
Some senior adults might need mobility aids to help them maintain their independence or just improve the quality of their lives. If you have the means, give them what they need. It will greatly improve their well-being and mental health.
If you need to add mobility solutions for your parents or loved ones, Western Stairlifts can help. Call us on 801-386-2408 to schedule a free evaluation service.