Seniors can practice good mental health habits. Here are some simple guidelines that can even be adapted to the abilities of the frail and the cognitively impaired.
± Make decisions. The process of working through information and situations, then reaching a conclusion, sharpens the mind and adds to one’s independence.
± Get going. Movement and exercise help to keep the mind fit, as well as the body.
± Communicate and socialize. Interact with other people – talk, sign or write. Inquire, exchange ideas and express feelings. If you are alone, join in the activities of local senior centers, community clubs or church groups.
± Keep learning. You’re never too old to try a new recipe, start a new hobby or listen to an interesting speaker. Stimulating the mind increases self-esteem, decreases boredom, adds excitement and builds confidence.
(Sources: American Assn. of Geriatric Psychology, American Psychiatric Assn., CDC)