Senior citizens, just like anyone else, can struggle with mental health issues. These mental health issues may be a natural response to difficult circumstances, or they may be due to unhealthy thought and behavior patterns. The concept of mentally unhealthy seniors tends to elude people because we often think of seniors as the wisest among us with epic life experiences informing their stability and steadfastness. While seniors do have a great deal of life experience, they can be just as prone to dysfunctional thought and behavior patterns as anyone else, and it is important that seniors have access to quality mental health resources to care for their mental well being.
When seniors have mental health issues, they are of a different nature than people of different age groups. Younger age groups tend to have more areas of the brain engaged in thought than seniors do and are more likely to reason their way out of mental trouble. Seniors tend to have mental health problems as a result of deteriorating mental faculties and must cope in different ways than younger people do. Typically, seniors have mental health problems as a result of lifelong disorders flaring up when mental faculties deteriorate, or they have acquired new mental health problems because of difficult life circumstances, which can be a natural part of aging.
Seniors who are struggling with mental health problems must be aware that mental health resources are available to them. Counseling, support groups and even mental health treatment centers are options to seniors who need help processing mental difficulties. Besides formal treatment options, there are lifestyle choices that seniors can make that will naturally help remedy negative thought and behavior patterns. Seniors should always keep community and close relationships, follow their doctor’s orders and maintain their personal health to the best of their ability, pursue whichever form of spirituality they connect most with and lead a purposeful life, even if the purpose they serve is light duty.
People of all ages should exercise, but exercise benefits seniors in ways that are critical to their health. Senior citizens are a demographic of people for whom exercise is particularly important. No other age group benefits more from continuously working on their flexibility, muscle mass, strength training and cardiovascular systems. These bodily features are in their decline at this stage of life, so preserving them is vital to mobility.
An important aspect to senior exercise is ensuring that it is done safely. Seniors are in a phase of life when bones are more brittle, joints are more rigid and muscles are not as strong as they once were. This means that additional precautions must be taken prior to and in the process of working out. First of all, it is important for seniors to be intuitive with their bodies. If part of their body feels weak or painful, they should consult a doctor before exercising. Secondly, prior to any workout, it is very important for seniors to stretch and warm their bodies up so they do not have any accidents. And lastly, exercise should only be as impacting as the individual’s body can handle. Seniors should always ask themselves if their workout plan is safe for them before they go through with it.
There are many exercise options available to seniors that are both safe and healthy. Water aerobics is a favorite for seniors because there is no danger of falling. Exercise classes for seniors may include dancing, swimming, walking, hiking and using light exercise equipment.
One important attribute of exercising when you are a senior is that you make sure to do it every day. The regularity of the exercise regimen is critical to its long term effects. One highly effective way of ensuring that seniors exercise regularly is when they participate in group exercise sessions. These are always offered in senior living communities. The group mentality and encouragement is a strong motivating factor for seniors to take care of their health.
It is all too common for senior citizens to ignore the advice of their doctor and do what they think is best instead. In fact, people of all age ranges do this. No one should take these liberties, but seniors are particularly not in the position to rewrite their doctor’s orders. Seniors are more susceptible to illness than the rest of the population, so following the instructions that their physician creates for them can mean the difference between life and death.
Creating medication directions are one of a physician’s primary duties. Most seniors are on some kind of prescription medication, and the instructions for taking these medications come directly from their physician’s medical opinion. It is unwise to presume you know better than your doctor. Do not veer away from your doctor’s instructions unless they encourage some range of experimentation. Doctors carefully create medication instructions for seniors in the best interest of their health, and seniors will be at their optimal health if they follow these instructions.
Doctors will give seniors a range of health advice about things other than medications, such as exercise, health safety and daily routines. It is equally important that seniors heed this advice as it is for them to follow medication instructions. A doctor’s advice on exercise, routines and lifestyle choice is their way of treating an entire person rather than just treating bodily symptoms. Following a doctor’s advice on these matters can profoundly affect a senior’s health for the better.
And lastly, simply being diligent about keeping doctor’s appointments is very important to a senior’s health. The doctor’s opinion should be a highly prioritized one to seniors. Skipping appointments or constantly rescheduling means that you will be delayed in receiving necessary health guidance. Keep your doctor’s appointments regular and in line with the recommended frequency of visits for best health results.
A major facet to the health profile of senior citizens is their diet. Seeing that seniors receive proper nutrition is vital to their health. Seniors are in a phase of life where many bodily systems are slowing down and not operating like they used to, and a nutritious diet can mean the difference between a vibrant, active retirement and a declining, unhealthy retirement. People of all ages should make healthy eating a priority, but for seniors, it is particularly important to their daily bodily functions that they maintain a healthy diet.
Seniors should have a focus on eating foods that are full of vitamins and nutrients. Eating foods that contain anti-inflammatory ingredients is important to all bodily systems, in particular the cardiovascular system and the joints. Eating spicy natural foods such as cayenne pepper and jalapenos is excellent for the immune system and for circulation. Making sure to take in probiotics is vital to the digestive system and eating antioxidants helps cleanse the body of toxins. Many seniors refer to the advice of nutritionists who specialize in senior diets.
Practicing portion control is very important to seniors. Overeating can cause conditions such as obesity, diabetes, stroke and heart disease. Over-eating and under-eating are dangerous at any age, but in senior years, a balanced diet is very important to general health and well-being. Weight is any way to assess whether or not a senior is making use of proper portion control.
Avoiding foods that are known to cause health issues is also critical to a senior’s health. The golden years are not the time in life to be eating excessive fats, sugars, carbohydrates or processed foods. These foods are known to cause and speed up health conditions that a person has or is predisposed to. More than any other phase of life, it is important for seniors to take in plenty of vitamins and nutrients in their diet.
In our senior years, our living accommodations play a big role in our level of happiness and comfort. Familiar surroundings and a pleasant environment affect the day to day lives of seniors a great deal. Seniors are a very diverse group of people. Some are vibrant, sharp, healthy and active, while others struggle more to process where they are at in life and are deteriorating in health a little more quickly. Choosing an appropriate home to live in for which phase of seniority a person is in requires some very careful decision making.
Housing and communities that are designed specifically for seniors have enormous benefits to the senior lifestyle. Senior homes are created around the age, mobility, safety and comfort considerations of senior citizens. They are staffed by caring workers who are experienced with senior citizens. They have access to paths and trails in the immediate vicinity of the community. Individual units come equipped with walk-in shower features and emergency devices that contact staff in the event of an accident. There are a variety of social events and activities that are hosted by the senior living facilities to help seniors stay active, social and engaged. There are numerous rewards and benefits to senior living.
An important factor to take into consideration when selecting a senior community is the location it is in. The climate and temperature of any specific region is very important to senior living, especially here in Canada where the cold temperatures can detract from health. A warm climate is more beneficial to seniors as it helps ease symptoms of bad joints and arthritis, and it is easier on the immune system. One of the most popular places to retire in Canada currently is the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. This region is classified as the only desert region of Canada, and boasts some of the warmest temperatures in the country, as well as plentiful natural beauty and healthcare amenities. Kelowna, Penticton and Vernon senior homes are available to senior citizens and come highly recommended. Consider the Okanagan Valley for your senior living needs.
Retirement is meant to be some of the best years of our lives, but nothing will ruin retirement faster than health issues. Being health conscious is important in any stage of life, but in our retirement years, good healthcare is critical to our quality of life. It is statistically the phase of life where people lean on their healthcare system the heaviest, so preparing our health for retirement is also very important. Everyone’s body chemistry and health needs are different, but generally speaking, the basic things a person can do to care for their personal health in retirement are eating a nutritious diet, staying physically active and following their doctor’s advice.
Nutrition is an obvious facet of good health, and in a person’s golden years, nutrition can mean the difference between a happy retirement and an unhappy one. When we are in our fifties and sixties, our bodies are more prone to certain kinds of diseases than in our youth, and managing our diets its one of the best ways of preventing these diseases. For example, grapes have been found to contain cancer fighting nutrients, the calcium in dairy has been found to prevent osteoporosis, switching from butter to olive oil can prevent heart disease and working jalapenos into your diet gives you an incredible amount of immune system support.
Physical activity is another healthy lifestyle choice, and a critical one in a person’s retirement years. As the body ages, muscle mass deteriorates, bones become more brittle and joints become more stiff. Neglecting physical activity will worsen these symptoms of aging and can render a person immobile over time. Flexibility should be one of the primary focuses of a senior person, as it is one of the first things to deteriorate over time. Stretching and doing yoga are several excellent ways of retaining flexibility into your retirement years. Muscle strengthening and burning calories are much needed in retirement years as well, when joints and bones are less agile and metabolism is slower.
And lastly, having regular doctor’s visits is very important for seniors. The initiative to stay healthy should always come from you, and being proactive with your health is essential, but when there is no home remedy for what ails you, a trusted physician is necessary. Your doctor can guide you through using medications appropriately so that you do not require treatment for substance abuse. They can also diagnose your personal health issues, give you nutrition advice and keep you on track to meet your health goals.