How Older Adults Can Manage Mental Health
Depression, anxiety, and substance abuse are not picky about which age groups they target. Older adults past the age of 60 can experience these struggles just as much as those who are younger than them. Older adults struggling may need additional guidance, however, on how they can better manage their mental health.
Find a Treatment Center
You may not be able to manage your mental health alone, especially if you struggle with something severe. If you live in Southern California, for example, there are options for treatment near Santa Barbara that can help. Mental health issues, substance abuse, and impulse control disorders can all be treated by a professional. The treatment plan will be tailored to your specific needs.
You’ll need to find resources that can help you get the information you need for how to succeed in managing your mental health. The National Council on Aging and the Center for Healthy Aging are two agencies that can help you find information. Look at their websites and you can gain insight into how best to help yourself, where to find further assistance and additional resources that can give you guidance. You may also find details on fall prevention and overall health concerns for seniors.
Boost Cognitive Function
As you age, you may start to see a decline in cognitive function. The fast pace in which you used to be able to think and react will start to decline. This in itself can lead to depression and anxiety. You might even think about turning to substances, believing it can clear or enhance your mind. The opposite is usually true. Substance abuse can lead to further mental decline and more feelings of stress and anxiety over time. You need to boost cognitive function in natural and healthy ways instead.
Finding a creative outlet is one option. Paint. Write. Listen to uplifting music. Take a class and learn something new. Play a game. There are lots of ways to be creative. You should also be exercising. Exercise increases blood and oxygen flow throughout your body -- and most importantly in this case -- to your brain. It can slow degeneration and improve focus.
Stay Connected With Family and Friends
Having a support system is one of the best ways you can continue to maintain your mental health as you age. Do your best to stay connected with family and friends so you can have those connections. They can help to keep you feeling cared about and satisfied. Invite them over if you’re able. Visit them if you can. Staying connected with loved ones and participating in things you each enjoy can really boost your mental health and overall well-being.
Sometimes thinking about other people can help you see what’s important in life. When you volunteer and help do things for others, you can give yourself a sense of purpose. Seek out volunteer opportunities in your area and participate in your community. You may build some friendships in the process as well.
You could spend your day gardening and planting new flowers or trees in your community. You can be a coach or offer tutoring services in a subject you’re skilled in. Maybe you can join a senior-student program where you spend time with a younger child in need of a mentor. You can help serve people at a soup kitchen. Lots of options exist.
Seniors looking to manage their mental health are often going to need some help. This becomes more and more true the older you get and the less you find yourself able to function on your own. Seek out help from a professional, look to resources designed with older adults in mind, and keep doing what you can to maintain a strong mind and healthy body.