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Mental Health Awareness Month: Six Ways to Improve Cognition and Emotion as We Age

By Jessica Deng

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and in today’s time, many people might be concerned with their mental health, especially if they are a senior or somebody suffering from a mental or behavioral condition. Memory problems, cognitive decline, and a growing loneliness epidemic, all make seniors especially vulnerable to mental health issues.Once aging sets in, many of our cognitive abilities start slowly declining. This includes impairments to short-term working memory, processing speed, retrieval of memories/information, fluctuating attention span, and problem-solving abilities. However, there are ways to improve mental health in seniors and stay mentally sharp:

  • Mind stimulation activity – our body needs physical activity so that it doesn’t weaken, similarly, our mind too needs mental activity to maintain its health and not go through a sharp cognitive decline. Some of the activities that can keep your mind involved in an activity are reading and writing, learning a new language, puzzles, and games, and playing an instrument.
  • Physical activities – sometimes physical activity doesn’t only benefit the body, but also helps the mind to stay active, build up confidence, and provide the energy to withstand any mental blow. Staying active and getting enough exercise is as important for seniors’ mental health and older adults’ well-being as they are at any other stage of life.
  • Socialize more. – time and aging tend to create a distance between elders with their social life and friends. It is very crucial to have someone to talk to, someone to share thoughts with as you grow older since these are the things that if left unattended may lead to loneliness and depression.
  • Pick up a new hobby – staying active after retirement is extremely important. Everyone has a personal wish list of dreams and activities, but sometimes those ideas are put off because life can get busy. Retirement is the perfect time for seniors to dust off their bucket lists and function when stimulated through the repetition of seeing them.
  • Improve your sleep schedule – it is recommended that people over the age of 65 get 7-8 hours of sleep per night. If you’re struggling to fall asleep, try practicing meditation, disconnecting from your devices, and avoiding big meals before bed to help achieve a better night’s rest.
  • Eat healthily – eating a balanced, healthy diet for seniors can help support brain health. Make sure you incorporate foods into your daily routine.

It is extremely important for everyone including older adults to take care of their mental health; without a healthy and stable mind, you are more susceptible to other physical ailments and conditions. LifeWorx provides caregiving services for as long as a family needs them for their loved one. Our caregivers carry out an extensive amount of tasks and supportive care, along with a 24/7 professional support system.

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