Watching a loved one age can be difficult. It can bring a dizzying array of physical, mental and emotional health concerns. But you’re not alone.
NewPrimaryCare.com’s™ partner providers are available to help. Together, we can help your loved one age gracefully. We’ve gathered a list of tips for how you can support the mental, physical and emotional health of aging loved ones:
1. Embrace the outdoors
Nature gives both physical and mental health benefits for the elderly. In terms of physical health, it can improve a loved one’s immune system and help them to heal more quickly from an injury. You don’t have to hike a mountain. Simply sitting in nature for 15 minutes a day can boost levels of vitamin D. This can help reduce muscle pain and the risk of heart attacks.
Green spaces can improve mental and emotional health as well. A study done by the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry found that exercising in the outdoors increases energy and feelings of positivity. The same study found a decrease in confusion, frustration and depression.
2. Move your muscles
Whether indoor or outdoor, just 30 minutes of exercise can reap noticeable physical and emotional health benefits for your loved one. Go for a walk, enroll in a water aerobics class or try out living room yoga – all of these are great ways to improve mental health for seniors.
3. Stimulate the mind
Read a book. Play a game. Listen to a podcast. Your mind needs exercise just like your body does. Keeping your mind active can improve the mental health for your elderly loved one.
4. Explore a new interest
Learning a new hobby gives the brain a workout, lowers stress (and blood pressure) and promotes a sense of happiness. Trying a new hobby with a friend or community group is a great way to make connections.
5. Connect with others
Life isn’t meant to be lived alone. When your aging loved one spends time with family and friends (including a pet!), it creates positive feelings of belonging and reduces loneliness and depression.
While distance and time can be a challenge, consider ways that you can remind your loved one about the people in their life. Schedule a routine video chat or send a custom post card from your phone.
6. Eat well
What you eat matters for your physical and mental health. It might be tempting not to monitor an aging loved one’s diet, but simply stated: the food they eat can affect their body and brain function, including their mood.
7. Volunteer for a cause
When your elderly loved one contributes to a cause outside of themselves it creates a sense of purpose and motivation, which leads to improved mental health for seniors.
8. Establish a routine
Creating a sense of structure and predictability helps the elderly to know what to expect. Like with small children, routines promote feelings of safety and security, which support their mental health.
9. Take care of yourself
As a caregiver, it’s important to recognize when you need your own selfcare. This can mean treating yourself to something nice, but it also means taking care of yourself. Eat well. Rest well. Consider reaching out to your own health care provider. Care for yourself so that you can care for your loved one.
Find Partner Providers of Physical & Mental Health for Seniors
NewPrimaryCare.com’s partner providers are here for you. Visit our website to find a Medicare doctor near you. (Or let us find a doctor for you!) Together, we can support the mental and physical health for the senior in your life and help them age gracefully.