“What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation.”Glenn Close
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 15% of the population aged above 60 suffer from a mental disorder. Ageing, the accumulation of health problems, decline in functional ability, and various other life stressors are just a few triggers that cause this effect in the senior age group. Furthermore, this age group is prone to being victims of elder abuse – including physical, psychological, verbal, financial, and sexual abuse, neglect, abandonment, loss of dignity and respect. 1 out of 6 seniors will be victims of elder abuse. An entire generation that was once part of the workforce, contributors to the economy, and builders of the current society, are no longer considered an asset but a liability. In current times, it is absolutely necessary to focus on the mental health of senior citizens also.
As shameful as this is, equally important is to be able to tackle and overcome psychological problems. Good mental health can attribute to creating better physical health. Here are some ways you can improve mental health in senior citizens.
1. Physical Activity
Physical exercise, as little as 30 minutes three to five times a week can improve your mood. The feel-good endorphins released while doing activities like gardening, walking, or even yoga can help take your mind of worries. In addition, they improve your physical health as well.
A study found that those who volunteer report lower levels of depression and an increase in life satisfaction and enhanced well-being. Volunteering also allows one to step out of the house and increase human interaction.
3. Create Social Supports
Remember when you were younger and had your own group of friends that you would vent to when life was rough? Having such social support is relevant no matter what your age. While those same friends might still be in touch with you today, create a social group of people that are physically close as well. Humans are social creature, so it’s important that we have someone who knows what we’re going through.
4. Early and Correct Diagnosis for Optimal Management
While engaging in healthy and active lifestyles can be helpful in keeping psychological problems at bay, it is equally important to detect those problems in time. Noticing your own change in habits, and out of ordinary behaviour, and consulting an expert is vital for the correct diagnosis and treatment. Some psychological problems stick with you till the end, but getting a head start on them is the key to managing them.
5. Identifying and Treating Accompanying Physical Ailments
Mental health can impact physical health as well. The link might not be clear at first, but slowly it can wear down your body. Have you noticed how a stressful event might have caused an upset stomach? Conversely, the onset of age-related health problems can trigger mental health problems.
Physiological and psychological health are required for a healthy body. Treating physiological problems can decrease the psychological ones. If the physical problem is caused due to a disturbance in mental health in senior citizens, then to it is beneficial to treat it.
6. Counselling or Therapy
There is nothing wrong in seeking out advice from a certified counsellor or therapist. While the stigma around mental health is strong, refraining from seeking professional help only harms you the most. Talking to someone who can genuinely help, enables you to receive accurate advice as well as the right treatment.
7. Do not hesitate to ask for help
Many incidents have been coming into the picture where people take shocking steps out of depression. When I hear such news and incidents, I always wish that if he/she would have asked someone for help one last time…Just one last time, then the situations would have been a lot different. Hesitating in asking for help is mainly seen senior citizens as they feel that they are a burden to their children and don’t want to bother them with their issues. The only way they can be convinced is by asking not only about their health also about how they feel.
As a person, there are high and low points in life. People are usually very conscious about their physical health but rarely focusses on their, mental health. People hid their feelings, especially they are low… especially when they ought to tell others. Why? because they believe that they will feel vulnerable, they believe it is bad for their ego.
Well now when the world is taking improving the mental issues seriously, its also perfect time to tell this to yourself also,” It is alright to be sad, if there are good times, there will be bad times. It is normal”.
If you feel the same thing what I feel, then start breaking the stigma of mental health, Once a wise man said,
Be the change you want to see in the worldMahatma Gandhi
Also, Want us to write on the topic you want? Notify us by filling this form