Weekly Tips & Insights

Reflections from VNA CMO, Dr. Mary Fox, on Senior Mental Health

As many of my older and wiser patients have told me over the years, “These golden years are not so golden…”


Aging can be a difficult part of life. Your body, mind and spirit are not always working together, and many friends and family may be deceased or distant. The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly contributed to fear, grief and social isolation across all ages but particularly for many of our elders whose mental health is at risk.


Here are 5 ways to put a little bit of gold back into the senior living lining:


Find a community.

Being with other groups of people who share similar interests such as a church or club or other organization helps support senior mental health, even if online.

Exercise your brain.

Word and math puzzles; reading; listening to, singing or playing music; audiobooks and dancing are all ways to keep the mind limber as we age.

Exercise your body.

Moving your body helps your mind. You don’t have to run a marathon or train for the Senior Olympics. Just simple stretches and other maneuvers are enough.

Engage in a new hobby or restart an old one.

Are there things you’d like to pursue that you’ve never had the time for, or previous interests you’d like to brush up on? Now’s the time!

Volunteer.

There are so many ways to share your time with others. We’re always looking for volunteers at VNA in our hospice and Visit-A-Bit programs.



In need of additional mental health support? Here are some senior mental health services you can seek out:


Visit-A-Bit

Visiting Nurse Association of Greater St. Louis (VNA)

https://visitabit.org/

Psychosocial Rehabilitation Groups

University of Missouri – St. Louis

https://www.umsl.edu/services/cps/index.html

Psychotherapy

St. Louis University, Memory Care Center for Counseling and Family Therapy

https://www.slu.edu/medicine/family-medicine/center-counseling-family-therapy/index.php

Housefit Online Exercise

www.housefitstl.com

St. Louis Area Agency on Aging

www.slaaa.org

County Older Resident Program

http://www.stlouisco.com/HealthandWellness/HumanServices/CountyOlderResidentPrograms

Cardinal Ritter Senior Services-Social Services

www.cardinalritterseniorservices.org

Lutheran Senior Services: Aging Answers

www.LSSliving.org

Jewish Family and Children’s Services

www.jfcs-stl.org

Memory Care Home Solutions

(314) 645-6247


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