How to Prioritize Your Mental Health as a Senior

As a senior, prioritizing mental health is vital to staying healthy. Even simple tasks such as increasing the amount of time you spend outdoors, frequently talking with loved ones and increasing physical activity can help combat feelings of anxiety or depression. Here, the compassionate home care providers at Avila Home Care discuss ways seniors can maintain and improve their mental health, and myriad benefits that this provides.

Signs That Your Mental Health May Be Suffering 

While depression may not affect the majority of elderly individuals, between one and 5 percent of seniors living at home tend to suffer from clinical depression, with the number rising to 13.5% for those who require in-home healthcare services. As elderly individuals begin to experience a physical decline and need additional care, they may feel as if they are a burden to others, unable to properly care for themselves. Additionally, depression is not always easily-detected, and early signs may mask themselves in smaller ways, including sleeping issues, decreased socialization, changes in appetite, difficulty focusing or making decisions and loss of interest in activities that they previously enjoyed. While these changes may be frightening to elderly individuals and their loved ones, there are resources and activities to help seniors prioritize their mental health and live a fulfilling life. 

Increasing Physical Activity Offers Many Benefits

Physical activity is a fantastic remedy for combating feelings of anxiety or depression. When you exercise, not only are you improving your chances of reduced medical care as you age, but your body also releases href=”https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/exercise#1″>endorphins, a type of neurotransmitter that helps relieve pain and stress. Physical activity also helps seniors establish a weekly routine to stay busy. Exercises as simple as regular walks outside or light bodyweight workout routines at home can improve mental health immensely.

Consider Adopting a Pet

If you are able to remain physically active, getting a pet can be a fantastic way to improve mental health for seniors. Not only does a pet provide companionship if you live alone, but they provide a sense of purpose for many elderly individuals. Having to care for a pet through feeding, walking and grooming gives many seniors a sense of comfort and responsibility. When looking at getting a pet, be sure to consider their physical needs, and if you will be able to match that. There are many senior cats and dogs at local shelters that may require less daily activity, making them a perfect companion for seniors. The love and adoration that pets provide is simply unmatched!

Discuss Your Options With the Home Care Providers at Avila Home Care

Mental health is a serious concern, especially in seniors where it is more likely to be under-diagnosed. The stigma surrounding mental health and proper services should not hinder seniors from seeking help if they are suffering. At Avila Home Care, our dedicated aging-in-place professionals work diligently to provide home care services to improve the quality of life for seniors. To learn how Avila Home Care can assist you or your loved ones, contact us today.

 

The aging in place caregivers at Avila Home Care always encourage readers to discuss any health questions or concerns with a qualified healthcare professional.

Some content in this article was sourced from the CDC and Healthline.

 

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