Recognizing the Importance of Senior Mental Health
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which aims to raise awareness and reduce stigma around seeking help for mental health concerns. As a provider of assisted living and healthcare services for aging adults in the MetroWest region, including Harmony, an assisted living community for seniors with mental health needs, we are pleased to share important information about senior mental health throughout the month.
As we age, we may face a range of challenges that can impact our mental health, including physical health issues, chronic pain, social isolation, and the loss of loved ones. According to the National Council on Aging, around 20% of adults aged 55 and older experience some form of mental health concern, such as depression or anxiety.
It’s crucial to understand that mental health concerns are not a normal part of aging, and there are numerous effective treatments available. Seeking help for mental health concerns is not a weakness, but a sign of strength. Many mental health professionals specialize in working with seniors, including therapists and geriatric psychiatrists.
There are several key points to consider regarding senior mental health. First, staying physically active can help. Exercise has been shown to improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Even light exercise, such as taking a walk or doing gentle yoga, can be beneficial.
Second, social connection is important. Social isolation is a prevalent issue among seniors and can have a negative impact on mental health. Staying connected with friends and family, joining a club or organization, or volunteering can all help combat social isolation.
Third, medication may be effective. In some cases, medication may be recommended to treat mental health concerns. It’s important to work closely with a healthcare provider to find the right medication and dosage for each individual.
Finally, regular mental health check-ups are key. Just as we have regular physical check-ups, regular mental health check-ups are also essential, particularly as we age. This can help identify any concerns early and ensure that aging adults receive the appropriate care as soon as possible.
As a provider of assisted living and healthcare services for aging adults, including Harmony, an assisted living community for seniors with mental health needs, we are committed to raising awareness and reducing stigma around seeking help for mental health concerns. During Mental Health Awareness Month, let’s remember that mental health is just as vital as physical health, and by understanding the importance of senior mental health and taking steps to support it, we can all make a positive impact on the lives of seniors throughout our communities.
Mary Ann Morse Healthcare is a nonprofit organization that offers a continuum of senior living and healthcare services. Mary Ann Morse at Heritage provides assisted living, memory care, and mental health programs for today’s seniors. Mary Ann Morse Healthcare Center offers short-term outpatient and inpatient rehabilitation, as well as long-term care, including memory, respite, and hospice care. Mary Ann Morse Home Care provides 24/7 Medicare-certified skilled nursing and personal in-home care. As a nonprofit organization, we are deeply committed to our mission of helping seniors to live their best lives and to embrace healthy aging, no matter where they are on life’s journey.