As people get older, they might often find themselves struggling to stay busy and engaged with different activities. They may also suffer from a lack of socialization, which can lead to increased loneliness and depression. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, depression affects more than six million seniors in the US. This can be down to several factors including a loss of mobility, loneliness while living alone, or struggling to take part in activities that they once enjoyed. So, what can you do to help a senior relative or parent enjoy better mental health and wellbeing?
It is important to encourage independence in seniors. Older people who can continue living as independently as possible, living their own lives and making their own decisions, tend to have lower rates of depression in comparison to those who do not. Autonomy is important for seniors, along with having the option to get support and help if they need it. One of the best ways that this can be achieved for many seniors today is by moving to an assisted living facility. Facilities that offer senior living in St. Louis provide all the amenities seniors need to live independently, while support is available at any time.
Loneliness is often one of the biggest contributing factors to depression and mental health decline in many seniors. Once children have grown up and flown the nest to start their own families, many seniors are left living alone for the first time in decades, and mobility problems might make it harder for them to get out of the house and spend more time with friends and family. If you’re concerned for the mental health of a senior parent or loved one, one of the best things that you can do is simply spend more time with them.
Ease of Living
Nobody wants to live a life that is difficult, especially seniors. But often, this can happen if they have mobility or health problems that make it harder for them to get around. Simple things like going up the stairs to go to the bathroom or go to bed at night can become painful and inconvenient. This can lead to frustration, embarrassment and poor mental health. If your loved one is not interested in moving to a senior living community, then one of the best things that you can do is adapt their home to their needs. Putting a bathroom downstairs, for example, or installing a stairlift to take them upstairs can make a huge amount of difference.
Depending on their level of mobility, seniors can greatly benefit from physical activity. Even if it’s chair exercises that are designed for older people, physical movement can be great for mental health. There are lots of exercises that are easier on seniors, like swimming or walking. Older people who exercise regularly tend to experience lower rates of depression compared to those who are immobile.
If you have a senior parent or relative that you care for, then you know that their mental health and wellbeing is just as important as their physical health.