April 1, 2021 —It makes sense to pay as much attention to your mental health as you do your physical health because the two are intertwined. According to the World Health Organization, over 20% of adults aged 60 and over suffer from a mental or neurological disorder (excluding headache disorders) and 6.6% of all disability among people over 60 years is attributed to mental and neurological disorders.
Depression is the most prevalent mental health problem among older adults. The presence of depressive disorders often adversely affects the course and complicates the treatment of other chronic diseases.
At The Admiral at the Lake, residents of our senior living community have access to a variety of opportunities to enjoy nature, stay connected with others, and make the most of their retirement. Our Wellness Center offers meditation rooms, an indoor pool and other health services, while numerous social clubs, lifelong learning classes, a creative arts studio, formal library, and private woodworking shop promote engagement for the good of mind and body.
Tips for maintaining and improving senior mental health
- Eat right: Your diet can have an impact on your mood. Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables contribute to your mental and physical health. Eating high-quality foods that contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants nourishes the brain and protect it from oxidative stress, which can damage cells.
- Sleep well: Sleep habits change as we get older. Older adults sleep lighter and may need more quality rest. Getting a healthy amount of sleep improves concentration and memory function in addition to restoring any cell damage which refreshes the immune system.
- Exercise: Doing physical activity for 30 minutes, three to five times a week, improves mood and reduces anxiety and stress by releasing feel-good endorphins. Physical activity improves blood flow to the brain, reducing inflammation and lowering levels of stress hormones.
- Calm your mind: Practices like yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises can ease anxiety and depression.
- Go outside: Sunlight synthesizes Vitamin D, which can help elevate mood. Research shows a link between exposure to nature and stress reduction. Time in green spaces significantly reduces stress hormones and boosts endorphin levels and dopamine production, which promotes happiness.
- Maintain healthy relationships: Relationships are one of the most important components of good mental health. Be it family, friends, colleagues or neighbors, your relationships provide a support system that can help you cope with stress.
- Make time for activities: Hobbies are a source of contentment and satisfaction. With time on our hands as we age, identifying activities you truly enjoy helps you stay engaged in daily life as you age.
- Practice gratitude: Gratitude is a well-established method of boosting positivity and increasing our levels of happiness. For example, keeping a daily list of the things you have to be grateful for in a notebook or journal can help you be more mindful of the positive things in your life.
- Get a pet: Studies show that pets can help you feel more socially engaged. They can increase opportunities to exercise and be outdoors. Regular walking or playing with pets can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels.
- Become a volunteer: Some studies have shown that seniors who volunteer weekly are healthier and live longer while having fewer symptoms of depression and lower blood pressure. Seniors who feel appreciated or needed as a volunteer also tend to be happier and more socially connected.
Engaged senior living
The Admiral at the Lake has residents who are active, intellectually curious, and passionate about the world. Schedule a personalized tour to meet our residents and explore our wellness programs and facilities.