Eating well and getting plenty of exercise are both great ways for seniors to retain their mobility, improve energy and balance and maintain good physical health. Many aging adults, however, are not doing enough to preserve their mental health.
In support of Mental Health Month, experienced Bloomfield senior home care experts want to remind family caregivers, adult children, and other loving relatives how important senior mental health is. Keeping a healthy, happy mind is vital for enjoying an optimal quality of life during these often challenging years. Following are seven easy ways your elderly loved one can improve his or her mental health.
1. Create or Join a Book Club
Lifelong learning helps aging adults retain their mental acuity. Much like a muscle, as long as the brain is engaging in new, challenging activities and being presented with new ideas, it will continue to grow stronger and function better. Reading books and discussing them with friends is not only a free and easy way to learn new things, but book clubs also have an important social component that will assist in elevating moods and preventing senior isolation.
2. Paint, Draw or Creat Pottery
Like book clubs, art classes encourage seniors to remain social. These classes can also be very cathartic and are great for managing stress. More importantly, painting, drawing, making pottery or engaging in other crafts helps seniors retain their fine motor skills and the dexterity necessary for completing essential and everyday tasks.
3. Take Long Walks
The opposite arm and leg movements that walking entails are great for promoting brain fitness. A long, leisurely walk, when possible, will also boost circulation, improve balance and elevate the levels of mood-boosting chemicals that are present in the body.
Creating and maintaining a garden is another activity that helps alleviate negative emotions like stress and anxiety. This will also provide seniors with a peaceful area for relaxing and one that may even assist with memory recall.
5. Play Games
People slowly stop playing as they grow older. Playing games, especially those that are played with others, is essential for maintaining a light-hearted and youthful sense of fun. If meeting up with others is a challenge for your loved one, consider a caregiver from Home Care Assistance. Our Cognitive Therapeutics Method utilizes mentally stimulating games and activities to boost brain health.
6. Eat for Mental Health
A good diet is not just essential for maintaining physical health. Many foods offer essential brain support. Although seniors have to be diligent in their efforts to moderate their intake of fats, they should still be getting a rich array of healthy, natural fats. Senior diets should include modest amounts coconut oil, fatty fish like salmon, mackerel or tuna, olives, olive oil, nuts, nut butters and seeds. All of these things contain fats that help support the brain and optimal neurological functioning.
7. Improve Spinal Alignment
Good spinal alignment is essential for maintaining good nerve to brain communication. Consulting with a chiropractor will help seniors learn techniques for maintaining good posture. In addition to making manual adjustments for repositioning misaligned vertebrae, these professionals can also suggest a variety of activities and exercises for strengthening the core muscles that support the spine and for alleviating spinal pressure and tension.
If you’re concerned your elderly loved one isn’t getting enough mental or physical stimulation, it might be time to consider live-in or hourly care in Bloomfield. A friendly and experienced caregiver can provide mobility support, play games, , transport your loved one to social engagements, engage in conversation, and offer steady companionship to ensure your loved one maintains a high quality of life in his or her golden years. Call Home Care Assistance at 248.283.0835 and schedule a free in-home consultation with a friendly Care Manager today.