Dementia, loss of memory, and neurological decline are just a few of the concerns regarding aging. As a person gets older, their mental health will start to get weaker, which makes them more susceptible to other health conditions. When an elderly person experiences cognitive impairment, some steps need to be taken to safeguard them from further physical and mental damage. Here are four ways that this can be done.
Focus on the Body and Brain
Regular exercise of both the body and the brain is good for any person, but even more so for the elderly population. Mind games that keep the brain active and engaged help to stimulate brain cells and improve mental function. We can learn how to make quick decisions, adopt critical thinking skills and solve various problems by performing activities that work on cognitive function. Learning a new language, for example, is one way that an elderly person can help keep their mental health in tip-top shape.
The brain is an organ just like our heart and lungs, so we need to keep the whole system running effectively as age sets in. There is no getting around it, but there are ways to keep the body and mind younger for longer by taking up physical activities as well as mental ones. Even for those who battle physically, some exercises are easy on the joints, such as swimming or yoga. Keeping a regular and active schedule can assist with most of the health conditions elderly people experience.
Assist Their Daily Living
Simple tasks such as going to the bathroom or remembering where you parked your car become more difficult with age. If steps aren’t taken to keep the brain functioning optimally, the aging process happens much faster. Extremely healthy people can still experience a mental decline at some point, but it’s important to spot when this begins.
An elderly person’s health can be taken care of by professionals by enlisting with an assisted living facility that focuses on providing a community for the aging. Organizations like McKnight Place assisted living understand that aging affects a person’s health in a variety of ways. These providers are skilled and experienced in dealing with the issues that come with it.
Maintain Emotional Connections
Keeping in contact with friends and loved ones is not only good for the soul, but an elderly person can benefit from mental and physical improvement. Being lonely is a major cause of depression and stress, and when a person is sad or anxious, they will experience other health conditions. They should find ways to keep them in touch with those they care about. It may mean finding new friends or people to communicate with. Being social is a big part of being human, and we need others to connect to in the world.
If isolation is affecting an elderly person’s mental health, it’s vital that it’s attended to as soon as possible, even if it means online contact through social media. Some elderly people find it easier to form relationships with people that share similar interests. Going to church or weekly bingo night can be a way to interact with others in a comfortable environment that forms these emotional connections needed.
Learn New Skills
One of the best ways to keep the mind active is to continuously develop it by learning new things. No one is too old to learn. Whether it’s learning how to paint or adopting a new hobby, these activities help to keep neurological pathways working effectively and communicating with one another. When we actively work our brains by learning something we haven’t experienced before, it keeps it strong and healthy and combats aging. Mental decline is something that can be stopped, or at the very least slowed down.
The age of retirement can be a great way to pursue lifelong goals similar to a bucket list. Those few decades after we have worked for most of our lives are valuable and should be something to look forward to. It’s a time to get things done that were not possible before. The mental health of the elderly can be safeguarded by ensuring that neural connections are established and keep working as they age.
With improved mental health, there is less risk of physical injury for an elderly person because their brain functions better. Apart from eating a healthy and balanced diet and maintaining a regular exercise regime, older people need more sleep as they age. Over and above, these are just a few of the ways that one can safeguard an elderly person as they age and protect their mental health through their later years of life.