About 20 percent of people aged 55 years or older experience some type of mental health concern, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Most often, they experience one of the following:
The presence of one of these mental health conditions has been proven to affect the course and complicate treatment of other chronic diseases, which grow more prominent with increased age. That’s why on World Mental Health Day this year (October 10), and every day thereafter, it’s crucial to place as much emphasis on mental health as you do on your physical health.
There are things you can incorporate into your lifestyle today to lower your risk of mental health conditions like those listed above. And while Mental Health Day is the perfect time to start, you should continue using these tips on an ongoing basis.
Adjust your diet to benefit your brain.
You’ve probably heard a hundred times about the importance of a well-balanced diet. We’re not here to lecture you on calorie intake or fruits and vegetables versus processed foods. But, there are certain foods that are better for your mental health than others. For example, studies show that blueberries, fish, almonds, and even an occasional glass of red wine can help slow down cognitive decline and memory loss in seniors.
Socialize with friends, family, neighbors, and staff.
Social interaction is the perfect daily “medicine” for the brain! Not only is it enjoyable, it also keeps your mind active, alert and engaged. Aging adults can often face social isolation as they age, which can lead to a higher risk of dementia. Luckily, Springpoint Senior Living communities offer plenty of daily activities and events that give you opportunities to interact with others with similar interests and personalities. Try volunteering, taking a lifelong learning class, joining a fitness center, or simply setting a weekly date to meet a friend for lunch.
Set goals that challenge you.
It’s motivating to have goals that are both challenging, yet feasible. An example is setting a goal to learn something new or try an activity you’ve never done before every so often, like every few months. This can also keep your brain challenged and active while improving your cognition. Other ideas: try memorizing your grocery list, play some brain teasers, or put together puzzles.
Focus on your physical health to improve your mental health.
You know how we mentioned earlier that mental health can have an impact on the success of treatment related to your physical health? The reverse is true, too. Physical and mental healthgo hand-in-hand. It’s essential that you keep moving every day to benefit both your mind and body. Regular physical exercise can increase the production of small blood vessels that supply blood to the brain and stimulate the brain’s ability to maintain and create connections.
Join us on World Mental Health Day this year to prioritize your mind. Mental health plays more of a role in your overall health than you think, and it’s never too late to prioritize it through simple, maintainable lifestyle changes.
Springpoint Senior Living prioritizes our residents’ mental health through our LivWell Program. From our Springpoint Academy to the Total Brain Health Program with Dr. Cynthia Green, our residents enjoy enriching lifestyles with peace of mind for their futures. Please contact us today for more information about life at a Life Plan community.