Senior Health

How to Stay Mentally Healthy as We Age

Even with the miracle of modern medicine, growing old is not a given. Seeing our “golden years” requires work. Eating right, exercising, and getting plenty of sleep are all part of the physical preparation for living longer. Staying mentally sharp is equally important.

The challenges that come with aging – physical limitations, chronic health conditions, and social isolation – can harm our mental health. But there are steps seniors can take to stay mentally strong and maintain their overall well-being.

Below are some commonsense approaches that will help seniors continue to live fulfilling lives.

Staying sharp

  1. Stay physically active — Physical activity is not only good for your physical health, but also your mental health. Exercise releases endorphins, which can improve your mood and reduce stress. According to the NIA, older adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical fitness per week, such as brisk walking, cycling, or swimming. Here are some activities you can do at any age.
  2. Stay socially engaged — Isolation can have a negative impact on mental health, so it's important for seniors to stay engaged. This can involve joining a social group, volunteering, or simply spending time with friends and family. Social support can help seniors cope with stress and improve their overall well-being.
  3. Practice mindfulness — Mindfulness involves paying attention to the present moment, without judgment. This can help seniors reduce stress, thereby improving health. Mindfulness techniques can include meditation, deep breathing, or simply taking a few moments to focus on the present moment. Mindfulness can improve mental health and cognitive functioning in older adults.
  4. Maintain a healthy diet — Eating a healthy diet can also have a positive impact on mental health. A healthy diet should include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats. Avoiding processed foods and sugary drinks is also recommended.
  5. Seek professional help if needed — If seniors are experiencing mental health issues such as depression or anxiety, it's important to seek professional help. According to the American Psychiatric Association, mental health treatment can be highly effective for seniors, and there are a variety of treatment options available.

We Are Here to Help

We offer short-term therapy to help you overcome any challenge. Our behavioral health clinicians speak English and Spanish and are trained to help you cope with life stressors. We can also link you to mental health services if you need long-term therapy. Call our Behavioral Health team today at (855) 425-1777 to learn more about our services.

Our AltaMed Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) also offers Behavioral Health services. The PACE Behavioral Health team includes multi-lingual, licensed staff along with a Board-Certified Chaplain. These providers work with your care team to identify a behavioral care plan. For more information, speak with your medical provider or click here.

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How to Stay Mentally Healthy as We Age