According to a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) study of mental health in older adults, about 20% of seniors experience some type of mental health concern. The most common conditions include anxiety, severe cognitive impairment, and mood disorders, including depression or bipolar depression.

Mental health issues such as anxiety and depression can negatively impact physical health and wellness for seniors. The CDC states that these conditions, especially mood disorders, can lead to impairments in physical, mental, and social functioning, as well as complicate the treatment of other chronic disorders.

Mental Health Reflects Overall Health

Though depression and anxiety start in the head, they may eventually show up in the body with physical symptoms such as aches and pains, heart palpitations and fatigue. Untreated mental disorders in older adults can lead to diminished mobility, poor quality of life, and increased mortality.

Big life events such as unexpected illness, loneliness, and losing a loved one can dramatically change a senior’s emotional state. However, the good news is that there are ways to preserve a healthy state of mind.

Talk About Feelings

Whether it’s with a friend, loved one or a counselor, talking about feelings makes a significant difference during troubling times. Talking is a way to work through problems that are internally carried. You’ll be able to connect with someone else who may have experienced something very similar. And not just when you’re feeling down. It’s important to check in with people and share the happy moments too.

Engage in a Hobby

Having enjoyable hobbies can enrich life while also teaching a new skill. Concentrating on a hobby such as a crossword puzzle or painting can help a senior mentally engage in an activity that will uplift their mood and lower their anxiety. Some people prefer a hobby that is more physical and others like mental stimulation. For instance, at Wesley Enhanced Living Main Line, seniors can knit, join a walking club, or even learn about something as unorthodox as beekeeping. There’s something fun for everyone.

When To Find Help

If worries increase and health declines — or sadness lasts longer than two weeks — speak to a trusted healthcare professional. Most older adults see improvements in symptoms when they speak to their doctor. A doctor will be able to curate a treatment plan.

Look Forward to Support at Wesley Enhanced Living

Mental health issues are not a normal part of aging. Wesley Enhanced Living is a continuing care retirement community that allows seniors to stay connected, engaged and feel heard. The staff at Wesley Enhanced Living are dedicated to supporting seniors.

Wesley Enhanced Living provides high-quality senior retirement communities for you or your loved ones.  Contact one of our Philadelphia area locations and find out why our seniors love where they live. Our staff is happy to discuss your elder’s needs or your own and inform you of our range of services. Virtual tours are now available. Call us today for more information.