Orlando, FL: Mental Health Awareness Month May 2011

Orlando, FL: Mental Health Awareness Month May 2011

Learn the 10 Tips to Improve Mental Wellness in Older Adults


Retirement years should be a time of relaxation and enjoyment. But along with aging comes special challenges. Older adults who feel connected to others, manage stress well, keep physically healthy and participate in activities they enjoy improved mental health. Here are some ways to for older adults to keep mentally healthy.

Stay connected to family and friends. Make a point of getting together with friends, even if it is just to have a cup of coffee. Stay close to family members with simple activities such as making cookies with the grandkids.

Get a good night’s sleep. Be sure to have a regular bedtime and make sleeping easier by staying away from intense food and caffeine before bedtime. A nighttime ritual such as reading or listening to music at bedtime may help to still your mind and ease your way into a restful sleep.

Get moving. A brisk walk through a park can give you a dose of physical exercise and a mental boost as well. Walking with others is a great way to connect with friends at the same time. Aging can make physical activity more challenging but is not the time to stop being active.

Avoid alcohol and cigarettes. Although a glass of red wine is sometimes in order, regularly indulging in alcohol can interfere with medication and act as a depressant. Smoking cigarettes are a sure way to impair your health so they are best avoided altogether.

Get a pet. Pets provide companionship and unconditional love. It is also good for your mental health to take care of another being and have someone to share your life with.

Eat more fruits and vegetables. A healthy diet goes a long way toward feeling physically and mentally well. A good way to start is to cut out fast food and replace it with healthy fruits and vegetables.

Volunteer. When someone else counts on you and you know you are contributing to their welfare it is good for your mental health as well. Find a way to use your talents to benefit others and reap your own benefits. Teach a class or mentor a young person.

Learn something new. When you exercise your brain and overcome challenges you can lift your mood and feel a sense of accomplishment. Take a class, join a book club, or learn to play tennis. There are plenty of classes specifically for older adults.

Pamper yourself. Get a massage, enjoy a good book in the garden, treat yourself to new shoes. Especially because you are facing the challenges of an aging body and limited energy you should take supremely good care of yourself.

Home care counselors at Partners in Healthcare are available to talk with you about yourin-home care needs including how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. We are an elder care agency providing Home Care in Orlando.

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