Taking Care of Your Mental Health in Later Life

Mental health is thankfully a topic that is discussed much more openly now than it was in the past, and we have become more equipped to manage and treat the symptoms of various mental health conditions. Whilst this is a step in the right direction, it’s important that we continue to raise awareness for the sake of underrepresented groups – one of which is elderly people.

It is ironic that when we should be looking forward to winding down to a slower, more relaxed time of our lives, our minds tend to thwart us. We want to nip to the shop or the local park, but that dodgy hip says no. We don’t want to worry about how we’re going to pay the bills, but our pension never seems to stretch far enough. Common mental illnesses, such as anxiety or depression, can often be triggered by situations that older people find themselves dealing with, such as the loss of a partner or the onset of an illness or physical disability. And whilst it’s normal to feel down every once in a while, if these feelings persist it could be a sign that it’s time to seek advice. Contacting your GP should be at the top of your list, but there are also some steps you can take to care for your mind and alleviate your symptoms, including:

  • Exercise: You might not be as active as you once were, but even small amounts of exercise can be fundamental in tackling depression. There are even exercises you can perform if your mobility is badly impaired, such as these.
  • Socialising: Sometimes when we’re feeling low, the last thing we want to do is go out and mix with others. But if you can get over that molehill, it can often be the thing that lifts your spirits. If you can’t get out, invite people to come to you. Even talking to people on the phone or video calling can be beneficial. If you are struggling with bouts of depression, you might want to consider joining a support group, where you can talk frankly with likeminded people.
  • Sleep: Insomnia is common in people struggling with their mental health, but if you aren’t getting enough sleep simply because you’re not going to bed early enough, it can make you feel constantly exhausted and irritated. Trying to get a good 8 hours of sleep a night can really improve your mood.
  • Diet: Avoid food and drinks that contain high levels of sugar, and prioritise foods that are nourishing. Taking a vitamin supplement can also make a big difference.

It’s also important to remember that struggling with your mental health is not a natural part of ageing, and you shouldn’t feel that you just have to put up with it. There are many ways that you can take care of your mind in order to enjoy your life during your later years.

Additionally, if your impaired mobility is getting you down, investing in a stairlift is not only a great way to get you moving again, but also to improve your mental wellbeing exponentially. At Alfix our stairlifts in Tamworth will help you to remain independent, social and, above all, happy! If you’d like to find out more about our mobility equipment options, get in touch with us on 01926 334848. We’re always happy to hear from you and find out more about how we can help to brighten your day.