7 Ways to Maintain Emotional Health in the Golden Years

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Seniors should constantly be looking for new ways to boost their emotional health as they grow older. Ongoing emotional issues can wreak havoc on an individual’s physical health, cognitive abilities, and quality of life. Here are seven steps seniors can take to boost emotional health in the golden years. 


1. Exercise a Few Times a Week

Studies continue to show that physical exercise is closely tied to emotional health, and all seniors should try to work out for at least 150 minutes a week. When exercising, the body is flooded with vital chemicals that boost mood. Gardening, carrying out household chores, taking dance classes, doing Pilates or yoga, and hiking are all great options for older adults who aren’t interested in heading to the gym. 

For seniors with mobility issues or health conditions that make it difficult to exercise on their own, professional caregivers can be a wonderful asset. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional home care service. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.


2. Socialize

Socializing with friends and peers is vital to a senior’s emotional and psychological health. If your loved one isn’t as mobile as in the past, you might want to teach him or her how to use video chat software or an online messaging app. With those programs, your loved one can schedule digital meetups with friends from all over the world. 

For families living in Frederick, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Assisting Hands Home Care, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.


3. Connect with Family Members

Spending time with family members is another simple step seniors can take to boost their emotional health. You might want to set up a weekly family dinner so your loved one can connect with his or her children and grandchildren. Those interactions allow your loved one to socialize, and they provide something to look forward to.


4. Volunteer

According to a 2013 study funded by Harvard Medical School, volunteering can have a major impact on physical health and emotional wellbeing. Even if your loved one can’t get to a volunteer center, he or she might still be able to help others from the comfort of home. Options such as knitting clothing items to donate or writing to a pen pal are perfect for seniors who have limited mobility. 


5. Adopt a Senior Pet

Looking after a cat or dog can combat a wide variety of emotional health issues, ranging from anxiety to depression. If your loved one is interested in getting a pet, suggest adopting a senior animal. Older cats and dogs tend to be less energetic, but they still have plenty of love to offer. 


6. Boost Cognitive Health

Trying to complete difficult mental tasks is another important step in this process. Ongoing mental health issues increase the risk of many cognitive disorders, including Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. One of the most effective ways to combat those disorders is to engage in challenging tasks such as learning a new language or playing interactive games with others. 


7. Eat Healthy Foods

The body won’t be able to produce important chemicals and hormones unless it has the proper fuel. As a general rule, seniors should fill their plates with fresh produce, complex carbohydrates, and lean sources of protein. They must also try to avoid processed sweeteners and other additives that can cause inflammation of the brain. 

Emotional and physical health are closely intertwined, so it’s important to pay attention to both to boost overall wellbeing. If you have a senior loved one who needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of home care Frederick families can trust. Our caregivers help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and we offer mentally stimulating activities that can boost cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. If you need professional home care for your loved one, our Care Managers are just a phone call away. Reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care today.