While it’s normal to occasionally feel depressed and lonely, especially throughout the COVID-19 global pandemic, Nest and Care, Olney, Maryland’s leading in-home care agency for seniors, can quickly help aging adults and senior citizens who may suffer from social isolation, depression, anxiety, and other mental health-related issues.

Nest & Care offers the Olney, Maryland community trained care partners available 24/7 to assist senior citizens with offsetting the effects of social isolation.

According to the National Council on Aging, one in every four older adults suffers from mental health conditions, such as anxiety, dementia, and depression.

Moreover, this number is expected to double to 15 million in ten years! 

Depression is more than just a feeling of sadness; it is a severe medical condition that can have powerful effects and consequences on senior citizens’ overall well-being.

Older adults tend to have a higher risk of depression.

Why?

Several factors, including social isolation, stroke, heart disease, or side effects of certain drugs, can exacerbate depression.

Additionally, seniors are less likely to admit that they feel depressed, and, as a result, they may not always receive the medical care they need to improve their quality of life. 

Nest & Care can help Olney, Maryland Seniors boost their mental health!
Nest & Care can help Olney senior citizens boost their mental health by placing a loving and compassionate care provider in their homes!

10 ways Senior Citizens to improve their mental health

  1. EAT A BALANCED DIET 

A balanced and healthy diet not only affects the body but also influences seniors’ mental health.

Eating a healthy and balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats helps promote a healthy brain with the potential of preventing depression and reducing the risk of dementia.

Most seniors struggle to cook their food because of physical limitations, or they don’t always have a friend or relative with whom to share a meal.

Luckily, there are some ways for seniors and their caregivers to improve their nutrition and their moods: 

  • Incorporate a rainbow of colors: Red tomatoes, green leafy veggies, white potatoes, pale yellow fish, and whole brown grains.
  • Share meals with others or use a favorite set of dishes to make mealtime more enjoyable. 
  • Keep hydrated, especially during the hot summer months, by drinking at least eight glasses of water a day. Dehydration can affect mood changes. 
  1. KEEP MOVING 

While exercise is known for its physical benefits, it is also essential for mental health. 

Exercise helps boost one’s mood by releasing endorphins and other brain chemicals that relieve stress and pain, providing a remedy for managing depression and anxiety.

Seniors may choose to exercise every day for 30 minutes to one hour. It’s beneficial to incorporate different exercises into a routine, such as resistance, cardio training, and balance exercises. Seniors may also find it fun and rewarding to join a gym or senior exercise classes.

The Olney community offers senior citizens numerous fitness clubs from which to choose! 

  1. PICK A NEW HOBBY 

Keeping active after retirement is essential. 

Retirement is the perfect time for seniors to fulfill their “bucket list” and pursue their lifelong goals, whether painting, gardening, carpentry, sewing, or cooking. 

Finding a new hobby to enjoy helps provide seniors opportunities to socialize and make new friends. Having strong social ties boosts seniors’ moods and improves their overall health and immunity against diseases while lowering the risk of death.

For aging adults living in Olney, Maryland, check out Montgomery County’s Recreation Centers

  1. STAY INVOLVED WITH FAMILY 

Maintaining robust family ties can be achieved by staying involved with loved ones, especially during family gatherings. Sustaining such connections contributes to several physical, emotional, and mental benefits for every senior.

Olney, Maryland, senior citizens may wish to try gardening, cooking, or walking about a nature center with their children and grandchildren. Family activities may help seniors feel less isolated and lonely. 

  1. VOLUNTEER FOR A CAUSE TO IMRPOVE MENTAL HEALTH

Many seniors find excitement, fulfillment, and a sense of purpose when they are volunteering. Many organizations seek volunteers’ support, and there are many opportunities for older adults to feel valued and needed while volunteering for a cause close to their hearts. 

Volunteering can be rewarding at any age. If seniors are looking for something to keep busy during retirement, they can never go wrong with volunteering. Volunteering offers many additional benefits that can improve physical, emotional, social, and mental health. Volunteering and participating in the community may also help seniors remain physically active and socially engaged.

Olney seniors have so many options to volunteer within their community. Check out the website Voluntematch.com to learn about many volunteer opportunities. 

  1. CONSIDER ADOPTING AND/OR CARING FOR A PET 

Whether a dog or cat person, caring for a pet can help ease seniors’ mental health. 

Caring for a pet helps seniors remain socially engaged in their neighborhoods and communities. When seniors adopt a pet and begin to care for it, in time, they may feel less depressed and less agitated, thus leading to feelings of motivation and security.

Additionally, seniors who adopt a pet can provide their new furry companion a chance to live in a loving home with a loving companion. Animals, in return, can help seniors remain active and busy, offering them companionship and unconditional love.

Volunteering in an animal shelter is also an excellent way to interact with animals for seniors who may wish not to adopt a pet.

Nest & Care recommends Olney seniors check out the Montgomery County Animal Services & Adoption Center if they are interested in adopting a pet. 

  1. STAY CONNECTED WITH FRIENDS 

As people get older, maintaining a healthy and close relationship with old friends becomes more complex, especially with time and distance.

Therefore, seniors may find it beneficial to remain in touch with important people in their lives. It can help you ease the loneliness and feelings of social isolation, leading to depression, ultimately affecting one’s mental health. 

Older adults may find technology platforms like Zoom, Facetime, and Facebook especially beneficial to remain in contact with their family, friends, and loved ones. 

Seniors may also find it rewarding to begin correspondence with family members. Letter writing and phone calls may be equally beneficial. 

  1. KEEPING THE BRAIN ENGAGED IN-HOME CARE CAN HELP!

Challenging the brain throughout the aging process is essential to maintain good mental health while boosting memory. An active mind means sharper concentration, enhanced brain function, alertness, and focus. 

To keep the brain active and engaged, many seniors consider partaking in at least 30 minutes daily of mind-stimulating activities, such as solving a puzzle, reading a book, learning to play a new instrument, playing word and board games, answering crossword puzzles, learning to cook a new dish, and even organizing their bedroom and hallway closets.

Nest & Care’s care providers can help Olney seniors remain active and occupied while building relationships through socialization.

  1. GET ENOUGH SLEEP 

According to the American Psychology Association, sleep is crucial in stabilizing mental health. Besides, having enough sleep can lead to healthier, happier, and longer lives.

However, seniors are at higher risk of sleep disturbances and insomnia because of their medical conditions or medication side effects. These disturbances may increase their risk for depression and other chronic diseases. 

Medical experts recommend seven to eight hours of sleep each night. 

Consider following these simple tips for a good night’s sleep.

  • Avoid drinking caffeinated beverages eight hours before bedtime;
  • Avoid taking naps longer than twenty minutes;
  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day (even on the weekends);
  • Consider exercising each day to improve sleep; 
  • Do not read, watch, or eat in bed. Use the bedroom for sleeping only;
  • Do not drink alcohol in the evening. Though alcohol helps you fall asleep, it can wake you up in the middle of the night;
  • Ask a doctor or pharmacist if a medication is causing sleeping troubles. Some medications can disrupt sleep cycles, such as antidepressants, beta-blockers, and other cardiovascular drugs.

Seek help from a medical professional if sleeping is problematic. A doctor may prescribe medications or other treatment plans to assist with sleeping. 

Please lean on Nest & Care as a resource! 

  1. GO BACK TO SCHOOL 

Keeping the brain active and engaged is vital for maintaining mental health. 

As people age, the brain ages as well. Seniors in their retirement years can take advantage of a community college or online education course. They may choose to pick a topic of interest that they could not study or learn earlier in life. 

Classes range from learning a new language, improving computer skills, or even pottery. Learning further information can certainly help seniors improve their mental health. 

CONCLUSION 

As people age, their mental well-being changes. 

Aging brings a new life phase with unique challenges and trials, leading older adults to feel burdened, stressed, and sometimes helpless.

Take time to understand the reasons why seniors feel lonely, stressed, or burdened. Showing love and support can quickly help seniors’ mental health. 

ABOUT NEST & CARE

Nest and Care is situated in the heart of Montgomery County, Maryland, and is one of Maryland’s leading in-home care providers for aging adults, senior citizens. 

In addition, Nest & Care’s caregivers specialize in providing care for patients discharging from a skilled nursing facility.

The agency hires only the best trained and most dedicated caregivers. Nest & Care offers Maryland an abundance of care options from quality, non-medical assistance, expert neurological care, personalized care plans catering to every client’s specific needs, acute skilled nursing services, transportation services, and so much more.

Nest & Care is one of the leading the home care industry in the Metro D.C. region, providing home care services, elder care, senior care, and senior home care, specifically in Montgomery County, Maryland, including Damascus, Clarksburg, Boyds, Poolesville, Darnestown, Germantown, Gaithersburg, North Potomac, Downtown Crown, Rockville, Potomac, North Bethesda, Kensington, Wheaton, Silver Spring, Takoma Park, White Oak, Aspen Hill, Hillandale, Fairland, Colesville, Ashton, Sandy Spring, Cloverly, Burtonsville, Redland, Olney, Cabin John, Kemp Mill, and more!