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Ways for Seniors and the Elderly to Improve Their Mental Health 

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October 2-8 is Mental Health Awareness Week, and for seniors and the elderly it’s a good time to consider making good decisions about your mental health. Congress designated Mental Health Awareness Week in 1990 to raise awareness of mental health and as an impetus for people to improve their mental health.

This year, the theme for Mental Health Awareness Week is “What I Wish I Had Known.” It’s a time for people to focus on the power of lived experience.

If you have struggles with mental health, set aside time during Mental Health Awareness Week to consider or talk with someone about that things that could have helped you sooner.

The list of days and topics includes:

—Monday, October 3, is “Stigma”

—Tuesday, October 4, is “Medication” (National Day of Prayer for mental illness recovery and understanding)

—Wednesday, October 5, is “Therapy”

—Thursday, October 6, is “Disclosing” (National Depression Screening Day)

—Friday, October 7, is “Caregiving”

You Can Cope With Stress in a Healthy Way

Coping with stress doesn’t have to be a negative experience that leads to mental health issues. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes coping with stress as starting with taking care of your body.

Taking care of your body includes regular physical activity. Other factors include good sleep and healthy eating. Here are other CDC tips on taking care of your body:

—Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate

—Eat healthy meals. This includes an emphasis on eating foods high in fiber, fresh fruits and vegetables, and cutting back on your intake of sodium, processed foods, and sugary food and drinks. 

—Be physically active. Studies have shown a link between physical activity and reduced anxiety, as well as improved sleep and better brain function. Long-term physical activity also shows improvements in lowering anxiety, better sleep, and better brain functions.

—Get plenty of sleep. To sleep better, go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time in the morning. Have a quiet, dark, relaxing room at a comfortable temperature to sleep in. Don’t have electronic devices in your room. Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bed. Exercise during the day.

—Avoid alcohol, or at a minimum drink in moderation. This means two drinks or less per day for men and one drink or less per day for women.

—Avoid misusing prescription opioids and mixing them with other drugs or opioids.

—Don’t use tobacco products.

Try These Helpful Tips Also

The CDC says that for good mental health, be sure to:

—Make time to unwind. This involves doing activities you enjoy.

—Connect with others. Make time to talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you’re feeling.

—Connect with your community- or faith-based organizations.

—Turn off and tune out the news. Don’t watch the news if it stresses you out or makes you angry! As an alternative, spend time with friends or loved ones, play games, or exercise.

A CARING-FIRST ENVIRONMENT

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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