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!
In need of additional mental health support? Here are some senior mental health services you can seek out:
Visiting Nurse Association of Greater St. Louis (VNA)
Psychosocial Rehabilitation Groups
University of Missouri – St. Louis
St. Louis University, Memory Care Center for Counseling and Family Therapy
Housefit Online Exercise
St. Louis Area Agency on Aging
County Older Resident Program
Cardinal Ritter Senior Services-Social Services
Lutheran Senior Services: Aging Answers
Jewish Family and Children’s Services
Memory Care Home Solutions