Mental Health Month: 6 Healthy Habits for Senior Adults

senior adult physical therapy
Physical Therapy vs. Occupational Therapy: What’s The Difference?
March 21, 2023
skilled nursing facility
What is a Skilled Nursing Facility?
June 1, 2023

Female doctor holding brain illustration against the gray background. Mental health protection and care

Life can change in unexpected ways as we age. Seniors may encounter difficulties that they’ve never experienced before that can affect their mental well-being. Caring for your mental health as you age is essential. Research shows that at least 15% of adults aged 60 or older experience a mental disorder. 

Mental well-being contributes significantly to the overall quality of life, and it’s something that senior adults cannot neglect. This blog will discuss practical approaches to improving your mental well-being in old age. 


1. Keep Learning 

It’s never too late to learn new skills and challenge your mind in new ways. Cognitive health is all about exercising those brain muscles to promote mental well-being. Mind games like sudoku, crosswords, and puzzles are all fun options that emphasize memory, reaction time, and decision-making. 

Picking up a new skill such as painting, a new language, or playing an instrument are all great options to occupy time and stretch the mind. 


2. Stay Active

Physical activity is not only good for muscle soreness and weight management, but it also has numerous benefits for mental well-being at any age. Exercise has been proven to aid with common mental disorders such as anxiety and depression. Physical activity also has immediate positive effects on mood and can set you up to have a more positive day.

Exercise can improve the quality of life for any person, even if they have no mental disorder. It also creates an outlet for stress and adds to a daily routine. Working out with friends and family is also an option for socializing. No matter their mental state, anyone can benefit from regular exercise. 


3. Nurture Relationships

Loneliness is a common symptom for senior adults to experience with aging, and it can have harsh consequences for mental health. Those who are lonely are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. It’s simply human nature to be connected with other people as often as possible. With complex life events such as illness and the loss of a spouse, it can feel difficult to reach out to others. But it’s during these difficult times that we need support the most. 

The best way to ensure you spend enough time with others is by scheduling weekly social events such as dinners, game nights, and other gatherings. You should schedule time with your family and like-minded peers in your community. Frequenting places such as a local church or senior center allow seniors to create tight-knit bonds with those of the same age.


4. Give Back

Finding a sense of purpose in daily life can be challenging for seniors, but it’s essential for mental health. Feeling like you’ve lost your sense of purpose or identity can be relieved through volunteer work. Making a difference in your community can reignite your sense of purpose and bring pride and joy back to your daily life. 

Volunteer opportunities are everywhere if you know where to look. Try contacting a local school, homeless shelter, hospital, or church to see if you can lend a helping hand. Even picking up some trash along the beach or in a park can help you feel like you’re doing your part for the greater good!


5. Practice Stress Management 

Exercising and socializing are great ways to relieve stress; however, there are other tactics to try as well. Stress and anxiety can severely impact your immune system and overall bodily health. Those suffering from chronic stress are more likely to get sick and stay sick for longer. 

One way to manage stress is by journaling. Writing down your thoughts and feelings allows you to release them and look at them from a new perspective. Meditation and mindfulness are also valuable tactics to relieve stress. Finally, stretching a little daily helps with muscle soreness and reduces stress.  


6. Seek Mental Health Support

Remember that you are never alone, regardless of how you are feeling. You don’t have to deal with your stress, anxiety, or depression on your own. Counseling and talk therapy are two mental health interventions that might aid in managing stress and anxiety. A qualified mental health expert can help you work through your issues and identify coping mechanisms that work for you.


Stress-Free & Comfortable Senior Living With USA Healthcare

By joining the community at USA Healthcare, you’ll gain access to constant support, quality care, and flexible therapy options. We have many USA Healthcare facilities in Alabama to choose from, including The Sanctuary at the Woodlands, our facility focused on mental health services. Senior adults who stay with us can improve their quality of life, maintain their independence and relax in a peaceful environment.

Schedule an appointment today to learn more about USA Healthcare’s assisted living and nursing care!