When it comes to healthy aging, most people think about physical health. What you can do to keep your bones strong, heart healthy and reduce your risk of disease, for example. But overall wellness isn’t just the physical. It also includes mental and emotional health which in many cases can be even harder to maintain as you age, particularly when living alone. Here’s what you can do and how senior living can help.
The Mind-Body Connection
You’ve likely heard the phrase, but the premise is that our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and attitudes can positively or negatively affect us physically just as what we eat, how much we exercise and so on can affect our mental and emotional state.
For example, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 20% of adults aged 60 and over suffer from a mental or neurological disorder, the most common being dementia and depression, followed by anxiety. Other research has found that emotions such as worry, anger and unhappiness can increase the risk of developing or worsening heart disease, arthritis and other chronic health conditions.
Getting in the Right Frame of Mind
There are a number of things you can do to improve mental and emotional well-being including:
Keep Up with the Basics – These are often overlooked but so important. Make sure you eat a well-balanced diet, get seven to nine hours of sleep nightly and exercise regularly. The National Institute on Aging recommends seniors do at least 150 minutes of physical activity weekly.
Work Your Brain – Your brain absolutely benefits from staying active. Games like chess and bridge, as well as crossword or jigsaw puzzles, are not only fun they are also mentally challenging. Reading regularly and learning something new like a skill, musical instrument or language are other great options.
Find Your Niche – Having renewed purpose can be invigorating. Start by thinking about things you already enjoy doing such as hobbies or causes that are important to you. You might even consider sharing your knowledge and experience with others through teaching or mentoring.
Be Social – Yes, it’s harder to keep connected as you age (and during COVID-19), but it is possible. Technology like FaceTime and Zoom can keep you in touch with friends and family, plus many clubs, classes and even church services have moved online so you can still be part of things you love.
Healthy Aging Gets Easier in Senior Living
You could absolutely accomplish the tips above on your own. However, if you’re already depressed, stressed or feeling isolated it can seem overwhelming. Senior living can help. Communities like ours offer a range of daily fitness, social and enrichment opportunities. However, in boutique senior living you also get the benefit of a true home-like setting because we offer residential care in a single-family home!
Our homes feature at least 4,000 square feet of living space and are specially crafted for assisted living or memory care with just 10 to 16 residents max. What’s more, we offer a nearly unheard of 1 to 5 caregiver to resident ratio which means you’ll have all the personalized attention necessary for healthy aging.
Everything from the décor to delicious and nutritious meals served family-style on one of our signature farm tables is designed to make you feel connected, comfortable and at home.
For more information on how boutique senior living can help with healthy aging, schedule a virtual tour today or call (224) 333-6247 to speak to a Shepherd Premier team member.