If you have a senior parent or relative, then it is only natural to be concerned for their health and wellbeing. Their mental health and well-being in particular may be of concern, especially after the COVID19 pandemic lockdowns where senior citizens were often hit harder by not being able to go out, socialize, and take part in the activities that they enjoy.
As we get older, most people will experience a natural decline in their physical health, which can cause or worsen mental health problems such as depression or anxiety. As your relative gets older, they might feel that they are no longer able to live their life to the fullest if they are experiencing physical health issues that prevent them from taking part in the activities that they used to enjoy and perhaps leaving them feeling more isolated than usual.
Seniors are an age group that is often at a higher risk of suffering from poor mental health due to these reasons. The good news is that there are several things that you can do to promote better mental health and well-being for your senior loved one.
One of the best things that you can do for your senior relative when it comes to caring for and improving their mental health and wellbeing is to promote independence as much as possible. It is not uncommon for seniors to require some extra help with getting things done as they get older, especially if they are struggling with physical health problems or mobility issues that might prevent them from doing everything themselves as they once used to. For example, simple tasks such as shopping for groceries might require more support for a senior with mobility problems.
But the truth is that most seniors prefer to stay independent for as long as possible without the need to rely on anybody else. They may appreciate asking for help when they need it but will want to continue doing things for themselves for as long as possible.
Encore Care Givers are senior care providers near me that you can rely on to offer support to your relative when needed while still promoting their independent living. Encore Home Care promotes independence and understand the importance of allowing your relative to live in a setting that they are comfortable and familiar with.
Encourage Social Life
Being isolated and unable to spend as much time as they would like with their family members and friends is often one of the biggest reasons for poor senior mental health. If you’re worried about the mental health and well-being of an elderly relative who has been feeling isolated and think that their mental health might be suffering because of this, one of the best things to do is try and encourage them to have a better social life.
Home care can be an ideal way to encourage a better social life for your senior relative to get a social life, as not only will they be getting regular visits from somebody who is there to support them each day but will also be able to help them get out to visit friends and family.
Get a Pet
Having a pet at home can be really beneficial for the mental health and well-being of your senior parent. Some pets like dogs can be a great way for seniors to stay more active, as they need regular walks. Choose a dog that is quite low-energy so that your senior relative can go out for gentle walks and exercise on a regular basis. Cats or rabbits are also great pets for seniors as they are quite low-maintenance and do not require regular walking but will give your relative companionship at home that they can get a sense of responsibility and pride from.
Exercising can be beneficial for anybody, but it is especially useful for seniors who may not always be able to get out and about as much as they once could when they were younger. While exercising might not be as easy as it once was when we are getting older, there are lots of different types of exercise that are ideal for older people such as swimming, yoga, and gentle walking or cycling. It might be worth speaking to your relative to see if they would like to join local walking clubs, go swimming on a regular basis, or even attend local fitness classes that are designed for seniors. Many seniors also benefit from playing low-impact sports such as tennis or bowling that can get them moving and out of the house while also providing a boost to their social life.
Along with being isolated, boredom can also be a huge source of mental health problems for seniors. The more active your brain is, the healthier it will be, and many seniors can benefit from having something new to learn or activities to take part in that keep them mentally stimulated while at home. Even something simple like jigsaw puzzles or sudoku can be a great way to learn something new and have something to focus on. Some seniors might be interested in learning something new so it might be worth exploring local classes where they can take part in activities or online courses where they can learn something new from the comfort of their own home.
Aside from home caregivers, you can also get people who will come and spend time with your elderly relative at home. This can be ideal if you have a home caregiver who is not able to spend a lot of time with your relative at each visit, and whilst they’re probably using a caregiver scheduling app to manage their time, most home caregivers have multiple people they need to see each day, so they only have so much time to give. Visitors or befrienders are there purely to spend time with your relative doing activities that they enjoy or simply having a conversation and catch-up.
As people get older, their mental health can often decline for various reasons. If you are worried about the mental health and well-being of a senior relative, then these are just some of the things that you can do to help.
The same can also be said about dental health. As we age, our teeth’s health deteriorates. Thus, it’s crucial to have regular dental visits. Luckily, it’s easier to find a reliable dentist nowadays. A quick internet search for a term like “dentist near me tarzana” can already provide a list of options that you can reach out to.
Find more tips in our health and wellness archives.
Meg is an author at Cinnamon Hollow. She writes on a variety of topics sharing tips and ideas for daily life.