As seniors age, attention is usually focused on physical and memory health. Oftentimes, we forget that mental and emotional health is just as important. Studies show that anxiety is one of the biggest challenges for seniors. Let’s look at why this is, and check out some simple ways to feel better!
There are a myriad of reasons for the elderly to experience anxiety – uncertainty, feelings of isolation, disabilities and financial concerns are just a few. Maybe you or your loved one is living alone for the first time. Whatever the reason, let’s look at some ways to lessen anxiety and enjoy life more.
- Keep a routine and purpose.
By maintaining a routine, aging seniors can feel more in control of their lives, especially if you or your loved one has home care. Remember, having a caregiver does not diminish independence, but helps preserve it. A caregiver can help maintain a routine by being a companion for important aspects of life so they can be maintained in a safe and regular manner, which in turn alleviates anxiety in keeping up those routines that help us thrive. Within this routine, don’t forget what you or your loved one is passionate about. Perhaps there is a favorite hobby or activity that has gone by the wayside? Get back to it!
- Let’s get physical!
Want to feel uplifted? Enjoy physical activity. We all know that staying physically active has a positive effect on everyone’s well-being, especially for seniors. But what if those who are disabled can’t move around like they used to? It’s time to take a look at the alternatives, like low impact exercises, gentle stretching, chair yoga or walking. If your loved one is less mobile, check out low-impact exercises designed for helping the elderly stay healthy and happy. And, if these activities can be done outside, even better!
- Exercise that brain, too.
As we age, it’s normal for us to become forgetful. But did you know there are studies that show the more you read, knit, work on puzzles and play games, the longer our memory and brain health is maintained? By exercising our brains on a daily basis, we sharpen our thinking skills. This leads to more clarity, which equals less confusion and anxiety. Besides, the lightheartedness of a good game is beneficial for everyone!
- Stay social.
It’s incredibly easy to fall into an isolation trap as we age. Our bodies, minds, and abilities change. It’s normal for the elderly to turn inward, therefore developing feelings of isolation. Adjusting to physical and mental changes is challenging and sometimes seniors have feelings of embarrassment or would prefer to be alone than to be social. Staying connected to others bolsters communication skills. And, even better, makes us realize we are oftentimes “in it together” and less alone in our situations than we think.
Caregivers are here to help with all of these activities to help reduce anxiety in seniors. They can work with the elderly in and out of their home, to ensure that all of these steps, and more, are available for you or your loved one for a more relaxed, enjoyable life. For more information about how our caring and compassionate team at Sunland can support you or your loved one, click here.