No matter what age we are, living a life of purpose, connection and joy is critical for our physical and mental health. This is especially important right now as the cold days and long nights continue. For older adults, a variety of obstacles like vision loss, social isolation, mobility problems and memory issues can make enjoying life’s precious moments more challenging.
So why is it important for older people to focus on their mental health?
Socially isolated elderly people have a 59% greater risk of mental and physical decline than those who do not experience social isolation (Forbes).
The health effects of social isolation and loneliness on older people is equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes per day (AARP.org).
Depression in the elderly is associated with increased risk of cardiac diseases and risk of death from illness (WebMD).
For older adults that want to improve their quality of life through enhanced mental health, here are a few things they can do to get their new healthy habits started.
Exercise – Firstly, older people should always consult with their GP or a physician before starting any physical activity. Older people who are able, and approved to exercise, may see increased physical and mental wellness. Exercise has been proven to have significant positive effects on the brain.
Connection– At any age, many people find joy in spending time with family and friends. Social isolation can be a problem for older people who have mobility issues or aren’t able to drive, or who have loved ones that live far away. However, there are services that can help overcome these issues, including transportation help, homecare assistance, new technologies which foster connection and other outside sources of help.
Volunteering – If the person is able, sharing time and talents doing volunteer work can bring a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Many organisations have programs and volunteer opportunities specifically geared towards older adults.
Spending time on joyful activities– Everyone has a different interest or hobby that brings joy. That might be music, art, dance, gardening, or games. Our older loved ones should try to spend time doing something that brings them happiness on a daily basis. This can improve their quality of life.
Comfort Keepers Can Help
Our goal is to provide uplifting homecare services that benefit older people and their families. The individualised Personal Support Plans created specifically for our clients consider physical goals as well as non-physical mental health needs. Our carers can provide transportation to community events, support GP-prescribed exercise regimens. They provide companionship, and help families stay connected through technology.
We strive to elevate the human spirit through quality, compassionate, joyful care.
To learn more about our homecare services, contact your local Comfort Keepers branch today.
Connect with us
To begin starting care for your loved one, you can click here.
To join our incredible award-winning team, you can apply now by clicking here or emailing your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org