Physical health needs, whether they involve management of a chronic condition or assistance with daily tasks or mobility, are often a top priority when caring for an older loved one. But mental health needs should be given equal attention, especially since undiagnosed or untreated issues of this nature can affect physical health and wellbeing as well. Here are some of the unique mental health needs of older adults and how you can meet them.
Increased irritability, difficulty sleeping, poor concentration, indigestion, and changes in eating habits are among the symptoms associated with stress in seniors. Harvard Health points out that these stress-related issues can have a significant impact on quality of life for older adults. Help your loved one manage stress more effectively with activities that include:
- Keeping a journal
- Joining a support group
- Exploring art, music, or pet therapy
Companionship & Socialization
Seniors need regular companionship to stay mentally engaged and emotionally connected. This is a goal that can often be achieved by planning fun and mentally stimulating activities you can do with your loved one, such as scrapbooking and playing board games. Seniors can also enjoy regular companionship by:
- Joining senior-specific groups
- Reaching out to grandchildren and other family members
- Considering in-home care for times when family members aren’t available
Home care can be a wonderful solution when your aging loved one needs companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just needs minor assistance with daily household tasks. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide senior home care. Turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties.
Older adults need to feel like they have a purpose in life to minimize related issues with depression or accelerated cognitive decline. This may seem like an easy mental health need to meet, but seniors sometimes have a difficult time adjusting to retirement or having more time available during the day. Volunteering, learning new skills, and rekindling dormant hobbies are just some of the ways your loved one may be able to find purpose later in life.
The saying “use it or lose it” doesn’t refer to only physical capabilities for seniors. Older adults also need regular mental stimulation to keep their brains active and functioning well. A lack of sufficient mental stimulation can also affect mental clarity and focus and contribute to depression. Fortunately, there are many ways older adults can stay mentally stimulated, some of which include:
- Being active online
- Working puzzles or using brain-stimulating apps
- Having meaningful conversations with family members, friends, and like-minded seniors
Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care service. Huntsville families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
Privacy & Respect
There’s no age limit on the need for privacy and respect. If these needs aren’t met, seniors may feel vulnerable or even helpless. When you need to supervise your loved one or help with personal care needs, always ask permission first, and find ways to provide some privacy.
Home caregivers understand how important it is to respect seniors’ dignity and privacy. For many seniors in Huntsville, AL, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness. Call us today at (256) 716-9940 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.