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Preserving Mental Health in Seniors

A very elderly woman smilingAt every age, having great mental health requires work.

The New York City Department for the Aging states that good mental health is judged by one’s ability to be flexible, have optimism and a sense of humour, along with the conviction that life is worth living.

Though it is common thought that depression and anxiety are a natural part of the aging process, there are means by which to prevent and treat both issues.

Healthy Lifestyle Choices
There is no getting around the fact that general healthy lifestyle choices promote overall good health. No smoking, a balanced diet and daily exercise will not only maintain good physical function, but help the brain function at its best.

The Talking Cure
A geriatric psychologist specializes in mental diseases that mainly affect the elderly. Getting proper check ups and maintaining steady appointments will help to both catch and alleviate any possible issues. Older adults have a range of emotional needs, ones that differ from those in their younger years. It is important to remember this.

Preserve Independence
Apart of feeling the gravity of age is losing one’s independence. Preserving a sense of control will help to bolster both self esteem and control, and possibly fight off depression. Apart of this too is getting around as if age isn’t an issue. Becoming involved in community activities, attending art events, operas and plays and in total, feeling invested in life is a good way to maintain joy.

Get Rid of Shame
There is much stigma attached to old age and the ramifications of aging. This adds to both depression and anxiety. It is necessary to remember (and reinforce, for the adult children and caregivers reading) that there is nothing wrong with age, and ultimately, that it does not have to be a limit.