Things change as we age with our health in terms of both our physical and cognitive abilities. The aging process can affect a person's mental and emotional well-being. Remaining physically and mentally active are two great ways to maintain our positive emotional well-being and mental health.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) describes mental health as the composite of emotional, psychological, and social well-being. How we think and feel affects how we handle stress and relate to others.
Seniors are Feeling Resilient, but Many Admit to Mental Health Issues
An AARP survey revealed that two-thirds of adults age 50 or older feel their mental and emotional health are good or excellent–great news! However, a deeper dive reveals multiple concerns expressed by large numbers of seniors that should not be ignored:
- Difficulty sleeping or falling asleep (52%)
- Anxiety (45%)
- Occasional lack of pleasure in doing things (34%)
- Feelings of depression or hopelessness (31%)
Stay Active, Say the Experts
Promoting active, healthy aging can improve mental health in seniors, according to the CDC. They say a supportive living environment should offer:
- Adequate housing
- Social support
- Health and social programs
These are all hallmarks of quality senior living communities. They reflect the Premium Service® philosophy that guides properties managed by The Goodman Group to give every resident the best possible experience to promote their physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
In addition to choosing a proactively healthy place to live, seniors are taking steps to increase their mental engagement and sense of well-being in fun and innovative ways.
Video games. Your Grandma may be a hotshot gamer if she’s among the 15% of seniors who have embraced video games and virtual reality. These games offer distinct social, physical, and cognitive benefits for seniors.
Music. Listening to music can be energizing. It can encourage physical activity such as dancing, singing, or exercising. Research has shown that music therapy offers significant benefits for memory care residents. Music can help dementia patients recall past events and lyrics to favorite old songs, helping them remain connected to their past and their family.
Brain exercises. Learning new things, solving puzzles, and similar activities can help seniors stay sharp. One creative app, called FitMinds, is particularly popular with residents at The Goodman Group’s managed communities around the country. It offers a variety of opportunities to engage the brain creatively and calming breathing exercises for relaxation.
Through understanding the importance of mental and emotional health, family members, other caregivers, and senior living communities can all play a role in improving the everyday lives of seniors.