Many older adults find it difficult to accept the aging process, with physical changes and accompanying mental health challenges. After all, we’re aware mental health can decline with age.
Senior living communities remove stressors commonly experienced by older adults after retirement, death of a spouse, a decline in health, or reduced mobility. Everyone has a chance at making it through life without feeling defeated by the inevitable changes in their minds.
We look at 7 ways to maintain good mental health while aging.
- Coping With Change
Moving to a retirement or senior living community can be met with resistance. Seniors fear a loss of independence, making the transition to senior living more difficult.
There are many benefits to moving into a senior living community, including worry-free living while maintaining independence. This lifestyle change can have long-term benefits for their mental health.
- Social Interaction
One big hurdle for seniors can include maintaining a social network. Connecting with family and friends promotes mental health and well-being.
Premature mortality from lack of social connections is comparable to physical inactivity, an unhealthy diet, alcohol misuse, and smoking. Senior living communities offer opportunities for social interaction with like-minded people who share interests.
Seniors can form meaningful relationships through gatherings, social hours, events, celebrations, and other programs catering to individuals and the common interests shared in senior living communities. Technology has also made it easy for seniors to stay in touch with friends and family through emails, messaging, phone calls, and video calls.
- Staying Fit
Exercise is a great way to keep your mind fresh and feeling good while aging. Physical activity helps to maintain cognitive abilities as you age and the ability to remember everyday things.
Evidence also shows that, with exercise, you can live longer and better. The benefits of staying fit include:
- Decreased risk of memory-related diseases
- Improves memory
- Help manage stress and anxiety
- Maintains healthy weight
- Maintains muscle mass and strength
Senior living communities provide state-of-the-art fitness centers and regular fitness and exercise classes for seniors to remain engaged and physically and mentally active.
- Never Stop Learning
It’s a myth that you can’t learn new things the older you get. A study shows that older adults and seniors can learn multiple new skills together and improve cognitive functioning.
The difference in learning between young people and seniors can be the environment to which they are exposed. Young people are in an environment where they spend a lot of time learning new things. If seniors get exposed to similar environments, they can strengthen what they already know and learn new skills.
Senior living communities provide fulfilling opportunities such as:
- Learning new skills
- Excursions to historic sites and museums
- Educational programs
- Creative arts and crafts
- Other amenities and services catered to personal interest
- Maintain a Healthy Diet
Your relationship with food and food habits change as you age. Thus, food becomes vital in keeping your brain healthy and protecting it from damage. A healthy diet can make all the difference to what you can accomplish throughout your day and how you feel about yourself.
Preventing cognitive decline and improving mood starts with a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and healthy fats, which provide vital nutrients and vitamins. Senior living communities support mental health in seniors by providing restaurant-style dining with delicious healthy meals.
- Get Plenty of Sleep
Lack of sleep in seniors is common, especially when accompanied by health problems. It’s no surprise that sleep is a determinant of health. Sleep disorders are associated with adverse mental health outcomes such as the increased risk of depression, dementia, and cognitive decline.
Speaking to a healthcare professional to get to the root cause of sleep disruption and adopting healthy sleep habits can help you rest better. Senior living communities offer the perfect balance of care and quality with different lifestyle options.
All apartments come with the luxury comforts of home, with surroundings that enrich the overall well-being of residents. Other factors that ensure a good night’s rest include daytime activities, avoiding heavy meals or caffeine before bedtime, regular routines, and nighttime rituals.
- Health Check and Adherence to Medication
One study showed that general health checks are associated with increased detection of depression and improvements in patients’ quality of life. Sometimes physical illness can mask the emotional difficulties experienced by some seniors.
Regular checks and medication management are key to preventative care and good mental health. Senior living communities offer the following services to ensure the highest quality of care:
- Primary care physicians
- Licensed nurses
- Wellness checks
- Medication coordination and management
- Pharmacy services
Healthy Minds, Healthy Aging
There are many ways seniors can keep their minds fresh and enjoy the benefit of a positive mental outlook as they age. Staying in touch with other active seniors, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet make all the difference to their mental health.
With enriching activities, fresh local food, lifestyle options, personalized care, and a culture based on family, Meadowcrest at Middletown has your loved one’s mental health top of mind. Book a tour to see if our community is right for you.