Maintaining Mental Health as You Age

Annual Aging Well Section

Growing older is a gift, but as you grow into your golden years, it’s important to stay on top of your health. Being mindful of health and wellness changes eases the aging process and prevents unnecessary worry so you can fully enjoy this season of life. Here, we talk to experts who share information about topics to be aware of as you age, along with preventative measures and treatment options.

By Lindsey June

 

Exercise and social connections are key to staying happy and healthy in your golden years. 

 

Understanding Mental Health

As we grow older, much attention is paid to our physical health. But mental health is just as important. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20% of seniors experience some type of mental health concern – everything from anxiety to mood disorders to depression. Poor mental health impacts the whole body and can severely impact quality of life. 

Fortunately, awareness and engagement can keep mental health in check and prevent symptoms from clouding day-to-day life. Here are some ways to maintain strong mental health as you age. 

GET ANNUAL PHYSICALS

Checking in with your healthcare provider on a regular schedule can help you stay in control of your health. Talk to them about any areas of concern and let them know how you’re feeling, especially if your mental health feels at risk.

EXERCISE

Age and other health factors can have an impact on mobility, but finding ways to exercise is important for mental health. Walking, swimming, or even gardening can add a little movement to your day and help maintain your overall well-being.

STAY CONNECTED

Loneliness has a damaging effect on the psyche. As you age, it’s important to maintain relationships and try to get out of the house regularly. Social interaction keeps life fulfilling and entertaining. Like they say, laughter is the best medicine. 

EXPLORE HOBBIES

In addition to socializing, finding new hobbies – or revisiting old ones – is a great way to stay engaged and excited about life. It also stimulates the brain, which wards off cognitive decline.

 

Outlook

Growing older is another part of life, and it can be just as exciting as any other time. Accepting the change of season paves the way for new enjoyment to be had. Mental health concerns are often treatable and always manageable. Age doesn’t have to be scary so long as you stay active, maintain social connections, and remain honest with your doctor and loved ones.

 

expert quote about mental health as you age by Reglindis Parker at Parkridge Valley Hospital