When our loved ones start to age, they might struggle with their mental health more than usual. Many factors cause elderly people to face mental health struggles like death, isolation, illness, and loss of purpose after retirement. When we hit an advanced age, we can sometimes feel a lack of connection to the world around us. Luckily there are many ways to begin to feel like your old self again – or better yet, to gain a new sense of self in the twilight years of life.
This article will explore different approaches to taking care of your mental health while in the advanced stages of life. The most important theme of this article is that you are not alone, and there are many resources to help you feel better as you age.
1 Talk to Your Doctor
It’s important first to acknowledge your low mood. If you are reading this wondering how to help an elderly loved one, this might begin with a frank conversation between you and the person you are concerned about. A doctor can help determine if there isn’t something affecting the occurrence of low moods, like a side effect of a medication or even a medical ailment like dementia.
A doctor can also refer a patient to a psychologist or psychiatrist who takes their insurance. A doctor is a great first resource to get you or your loved one back on their feet since a low mood is often a sign of a more significant problem. If you are concerned for the immediate welfare of an elderly loved one, call 911 immediately and request a welfare check.
2 See a Therapist
Today, there is less stigma around mental health. However, some older adults may have preconceived ideas of therapists and mental health that keep them from getting the help and care they need. If you would like your elderly friend or family member to talk to a therapist, begin by discussing how therapy has been positive for you in your life. Tell them about the strides you have made with a therapist, share the latest research, and let them know that mental health is just as important as physical well-being.
It feels good to be seen and understood by someone else. A therapist is there to listen compassionately and help problem-solve some of life’s bigger challenges. They can offer a new perspective and help improve mental health by challenging old ways of thinking. Seeing a therapist is more widely accepted and encouraged in today’s society, so you don’t need to feel ashamed for seeking help. You should feel proud of your willingness to try something new and develop a better relationship with your thoughts and feelings!
3 Engage in Community
Many seniors find their circle of friends shrinking and dispersing as they age. Community is essential to our overall well-being. Many elderly care facilities in New Port aim to provide residents with community activities and a sense of belonging. Whether you or your loved one is in residential care or lives independently, it is most important they are actively involved in their community. Consider accompanying them to the senior center or inviting them to community events often.
Some community activities include singing in a choir, participating in local charity events, knitting beanies for premies at the hospital, or reading to children at the library. Join clubs, and make friends, and you will notice a considerable increase in your mental health.
It can be tricky to navigate life’s changes while getting older, but your presence is valuable and impactful at any age. Talk to your doctor immediately if you are experiencing depression, sadness, anxiety, or other mental health issues. A therapist is an excellent option for those who feel alone or misunderstood and can provide valuable feedback. Last, continue to get out there and be a part of the local community. The world needs you!