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How Older Adults Can Improve Your Mental Health With 4 Simple Steps

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May As the U.S. populations ages, certain health conditions gain attention so older adults can learn about them and so the general public can fight stigmas.

One area to spotlight is mental health, which has become a national health issue. Every May in the U.S. is Mental Health Month, making this a good time to raise awareness of the issue and learn how to treat it.

It’s especially relevant now as the U.S. population is in a two-decade rise in aging adults. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), from 2013 to 2038, the number of Americans age 65 and older will have increased by 50%. During that same time, the number of Americans age 85 and older is expected to more than double from 6 million to 14.6 million.

Rising Cases of Mental Health Issues

SAMHSA surveys show that about 20% of older adults have one or more mental health or substance use conditions. These conditions can include depression, which occurs in 16% of women and 11% of men.

Older adults can also have other chronic health conditions that can affect mental health. These conditions can include mental health, but also may include substance abuse disorders, and cognitive impairments. Two or more of the chronic conditions occur in about 67% of older adults, according to SAMHSA.

Four Ways to Improve Mental Health

Some of the easiest ways to improve mental health include taking a break from the news and putting down your smart phone. Other ways are exercise, meditating, finding personal quiet time, and other healthy habits.

Try these four tips to improve your mental health:

1) Be open to mental health considerations. You can learn about mental health through SAMHSA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and others. 

Here’s a helpful mental health awareness toolkit that gives you tips, information, and resources for mental health. Having an open mind about your mental health and the mental health of your friends, family, and loved ones creates a healthy environment for you as well.

2) Get creative! Finding creative outlets during the day help you relieve stress. SAMHSA suggests something as simple as a coloring book, which is like art therapy. Try doodling, painting, playing cards, or other creative outlets to get stimulate your find and improve your outlook and attitude.

3) Try physical activity. You don’t have to do hard workouts or start a rigorous exercise routine. Take a nice walk, go swimming, try dancing, or yoga, stretching, or other physical activities. Being physically active helps both your physical and mental health.

4) Try starting a routine. When you schedule things to start and end your day, find things that bring you joy. Maybe it’s a cup of coffee or tea in the morning. Find a book to read that interests you. Find a partner to start regular exercise with, or simply meet up with friends.


Senior living communities like Bellaire at Stone Port are precisely that—a community. Residents become friends and even family, and a caring team is there to help them maintain their quality of life. 

At Bellaire at Stone Port, we offer both Assisted Living and Memory Care and we care with Honesty, Excellence, Accountability, Residents first and Teamwork. We like to call it Caring with H.E.A.R.T.™!

If you believe a senior living community would benefit your loved one, get in touch with us. Schedule a visit or download a brochure today!

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