The winter months are a hard time for many people. With freezing temperatures, overcast skies, and lack of sun can lead to a decline in mental health. Older adults and seniors experience mental health a little differently. 20 percent of adults 55 and older experience some form of mental health issues. The more common form of mental health issues in seniors are cognitive impairment and dementia. But, the common mental health issues that a majority of people face from depression, anxiety, and mood disorders to anxiety tend to go undiagnosed in the elderly. Anxiety can morph itself into things like hoarding disorders, phobias, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). A big reason seniors are vulnerable to declining mental health is due to social isolation and sadness, as well as a decline in cognitive function. The good news is that there are several activities and resources seniors can take advantage of, so they don’t have to fall victim to their mental health. We’ll be giving you a variety of ways to help improve mental health in seniors. While it’s important to maintain the body and keep it engaged and stimulated, it’s equally important to do the same with your brain! As we age, the brain needs a healthy amount of activity to keep it sharp and stimulated to avoid cognitive decline. So what kind of brain-boosting activities can you or a loved one do?
- Reading & Writing: The brain is a muscle if you don’t give it a workout its functions will decline. Reading books, magazines, newspapers, and online articles are great ways to give your brain a boost! Also, writing a journal can help you manage the effects of anxiety.
- Word puzzles challenge the brain, help improve concentration and increase vocabulary. Above all else, they help with memory and can improve mental functions in patients with brain damage or early dementia.