Managing Mental Health in Seniors: A Quick Guide

playing video games

Everyone can develop mental health issues, but some people are more vulnerable than others. Seniors are particularly susceptible to experiencing the signs and symptoms of depression. This serious condition affects around six million Americans aged 65 and older, which is as alarming as it sounds.

Depression is more than just fleeting feelings of sadness—it’s a serious condition that can affect one’s overall health and well-being. Although symptoms may vary for each patient, a senior with depression can show impairments in their mood, behavior, sleep, appetite, and other physical functions.

The CDC also states that around 20% of adults aged 55 or older suffer from some sort of mental health condition. Aside from depression, some also experience anxiety, bipolar disorder, and cognitive impairments.

While psychiatric conditions like clinical depression and anxiety are prevalent among older adults, they are not a normal way of life. There are many ways to prevent mental illnesses from happening. With this, here is a quick guide on how to manage mental health in seniors.

How Can You Manage Mental Health in Older Adults?

Mental health conditions are preventable and treatable, and like everyone else, they thrive when their various needs are met. Here are some aspects to focus on to improve their psychological and holistic well-being:

1 – Physical Health

Maintaining adequate physical health is not just for the young. Although their energy levels are often not as prominent as they were in their younger years, seniors still enjoy the many benefits of exercise. It does not only improve their fitness, but it also energizes their mental well-being.

During exercise, a person’s brain releases chemical messengers that positively impact their brain. It does not have to be intense—daily walks, light aerobics, and even chair exercises can significantly improve their mood and thinking. Specialized workout programs can help keep them as happy and fulfilled as possible while improving their strength and mobility.

2 – Mental Acuity

Many seniors live home alone with nothing to do, and this situation can take a toll on their mood and behaviors. A lack of enriching activities and environments can make any person feel down, so it’s best to provide them with activities that get their gears turning. Playing brain games that involve problem-solving, taking up a new hobby, or learning an instrument can help them stay motivated and feel a sense of accomplishment. A break in everyday routines can go a long way when it comes to managing mental health.

3 – Social Needs

No matter how introverted and grumpy an older adult may seem, humans are social beings. Seniors have to meet their socialization needs in any way they can, such as regular visits, phone calls, or even video chatting. Engaging with their home health providers can also help them fight off the feelings of isolation that they may encounter.

Invest in Home Health Programs for Seniors

A happy, fulfilled senior is a healthy individual. Although older adults often encounter mental health problems, this doesn’t always have to be the case. Focusing on the aforementioned aspects can boost their mood, thinking, behaviors, and overall well-being. 

If you’re looking for senior health services in California, Bridge Home Health & Hospice has you covered. We help our patients reach well-being through various specialty programs that help keep them fit, safe, and happy. Contact us today!