Have you experienced the challenges of the psychological changes of ageing? According to WHO, around 14% of people aged 60 and above are coping with a mental disorder. These mental health issues affect about 10.6% of the total years lived with disability in this age group, showing how much they can impact the quality of life and abilities of older adults.
Another study by WHO shows that depression affects about 7% of older adults globally, while elderly anxiety disorders affect approximately 3.8%. Seniors with good psychological well-being report higher satisfaction with life, better relationships, and a greater sense of purpose and meaning. The issue is to understand elderly mental health changes and how to support them for a better life quality.
Understanding Psychological Changes in Aging
As people age, they experience various cognitive, emotional, and social changes that can impact their overall well-being. The cognitive changes are typical in ageing: some abilities may show a decline while others remain stable or even improve.
Unlike the main changes, seniors’ emotional regulations may shift: older adults often experience a greater focus on positive emotions while they face challenges in managing negative ones. Social relationships play a crucial role in the psychological well-being of older adults, and changes in the elderly daily routine and social networks, such as retirement, relocation, and loss of loved ones, can impact their mental health.
Understanding these psychological changes can help caregivers, healthcare professionals, and live in care services develop effective strategies to support older adults as they age. What about addressing them? Let’s see our common tips and tricks that can help!
Encourage regular physical activity tailored to their abilities and preferences: More than twenty per cent of people aged 55 and above are at risk of experiencing some type of mental health challenges.Studies show that physical activity reduces symptoms of depression. It promotes blood flow to the brain, improves cognitive function and reduces the risk of conditions like dementia, leading to increased social interaction and reduced feelings of loneliness.
Create opportunities for social interaction: social interaction among older adults is associated with a reduced risk of depression and anxiety. Social interaction stimulates cognitive processes, such as memory and problem-solving skills, which can help maintain brain health in seniors.
Offer emotional support during times of stress, anxiety, or sadness: emotional support from others is associated with better mental health, including reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety in older adults. Providing emotional support involves listening to seniors and understanding their feelings and experiences, which can help relieve distress and improve emotional well-being.
Provide access to mental health resources: about 10-20% of older adults with mental health conditions receive treatment, highlighting the importance of improving access to mental health services for seniors. Creating an environment that prioritises access to mental health resources, such as therapy and support groups, ensures that seniors can receive the care and support they need to manage mental health challenges.
Promote a healthy lifestyle with nutritious meals: Promoting healthy eating habits and access to nutritious food are essential for supporting older adults’ independence, dignity, and quality of life. Nutrient-rich meals provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support brain health and cognitive function which are vital for maintaining mental health and preventing age-related cognitive decline.
Promote positive relationships and communication: Engaging in meaningful conversations, sharing experiences, and expressing emotions in a supportive environment promotes positive feelings and emotional well-being. Maintaining positive relationships and engaging in open, supportive communication channels can help avoid the risk of mental health disorders by providing emotional support.
Professional care services play a crucial role in improving the psychological well-being of seniors by providing tailored support and assistance to address their unique needs. Some services offer specialised care plans designed to promote mental health and emotional well-being. Trained professionals assess the psychological status of seniors, identify areas of concern, and implement strategies to support their mental health. Whether through cognitive stimulation activities, emotional support, or simply companionship, professional caregivers create a supportive environment.
River Garden Home Care provides professional care, ensuring seniors receive consistent support and attention to their psychological needs. Many older adults may struggle with feelings of loneliness or isolation, especially if they live alone or have limited social connections. Our caregivers provide practical assistance with daily tasks and offer companionship and emotional support, reducing feelings of loneliness and improving overall well-being. We monitor seniors for signs of depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues to address any concerns and prevent them.
River Garden Care Ltd Copyright 2024. A company registered in England & Wales No. 09131110