As we age, our bodies start to act in ways we’re not used to, and it might feel like everything has changed. This can be one of the most difficult facts of life for us to accept. When we try and fight accepting this, our mental health and general wellness suffer for it. If we want to live as young as we can for as long as we can, we have to find ways to deal with the changes we experience as we age. Here are some mental health and wellness tips of aging adults.
We know that eating the right foods, remaining active, maintaining a positive mindset, and making good health choices are all important to aging well. But in this article, we’re going to cover a few tips you might not have thought of yet. We’ll talk about the importance of access to affordable healthcare; how to exercise your body, mind, and soul; and how giving your caretakers time for self-care will lead to better quality care for you.
Access to Affordable Healthcare
Financial barriers, like a lack of affordable healthcare, keep adults from receiving their needed care. According to research led by Jeffrey T. Kullgren, M.D., 18.5 percent of participants stated financial barriers as their main reason for delaying the care needed to treat their chronic conditions. Other barriers included: accommodation, availability, accessibility, and acceptability.
As the aging population experiences extensive growth over the next few decades, access to care needs to be a priority among policymakers. We need to address affordability concerns and the nonfinancial barriers as well.
The lack of affordable healthcare is leading to aging adults missing out on the care they need, resulting in declining health and wellness. It also leads to excessive stress on family members and caregivers.
Give Your Caregivers Time for Self-Care
Caregivers and family members can make the lives of aging adults more pleasant. But they’re able to care for their own needs first. A worn-down and stressed-out caregiver will be less attentive and patient for those they are caring for. Family nurse practitioners can help caregivers manage their responsibilities, whether it’s for a patient or family member, by doing the following:
- Helping caregivers build their medical and technical skill sets.
- Provide caregivers with communication techniques.
- Help caregivers develop problem-solving skills.
- Help caregivers develop an understanding of modern care delivery by local health services.
- Empowering caregivers of aging adults with knowledge, resources, and support.
As the recipient of care, we can encourage our friends and family members to take time for themselves. When they’re stressed, encouraging them to take care of their own needs will lead to better days for the both of you.
Exercise Your Body, Mind, and Soul
Your mind, body, and soul connect in a web that makes up your mental health and overall wellness. If you’re not caring for each, you’ll start to notice in the way you feel from the inside out. You might experience weight gain, depression, or any number of symptoms rooting from an overall lack of wellbeing. Here are five ways you can exercise your body, mind, and soul:
- Be aware of how you’re feeling, how you’ve cared for yourself in the past, and how you can improve going forward.
- Drop the excuses: you’re never too old, you can make time, and eating healthy is affordable.
- Know exactly what you want. That may be to get to a specific weight or learn a new skill. Perhaps it is to change your mindset or spend more time with friends and loved ones.
- Visualize what you want as if it’s already achieved.
- Take action! Make a plan and stick to it.
Mental health and wellness can be a new challenge for aging adults — especially when you’ve lived a fully independent life but are suddenly experiencing changes. We hope these tips have helped you to better care for yourself so you can live as healthy as possible for as long as possible.
Avery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions.