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Mental health tips for seniors

Amy Weiss | Apr 22, 2021

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Mental health is personal, yet sometimes it's treated as a taboo topic. However, it's actually part of holistic health, just like physical wellbeing. And, at Walker Methodist, we care for people as whole human beings.

It's no secret that some things have gotten more difficult during the coronavirus pandemic, but mental health is still just as important. Team members at our communities are working to serve residents, provide engaging activities, and create community. We believe that our senior living communities are safe places where older adults are cared for holistically. Here are some resources we offer and tips for protecting mental health, whether you live at one of our communities or elsewhere.

  • Learn to recognize and lower stress: For many people today, the current COVID-19 pandemic (and its effects) is a significant source of stress. That’s why we want to provide resources to help you or your loved ones recognize and lower stress. If you’re feeling stressed, you are not alone. Be aware of these potential signs of stress related to a crisis, and learn what you can do to help yourself.
  • Stress reduction tips: Breathing, fitness, and hobbies may already be part of your daily routine. Did you know those things can help reduce stress, too?
  • Essential oils and how to use them: While essential oils may not replace professional medical help, you may be surprised by their potential benefits. If you live at a Walker Methodist community, aromatherapy may be available to you.
  • Psychological first aid (PFA): According to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), PFA is “an evidence-informed approach that is built on the concept of human resilience. PFA aims to reduce stress symptoms and assist in a healthy recovery following a traumatic event, natural disaster, public health emergency, or even a personal crisis.” Just as we use physical first aid for cuts and scrapes, PFA is used to “reduce the painful range of emotions and responses” of those under stress. This strategy is not the same as counseling but uses skills people already have.
  • Benefits of socialization: Being around other people, especially when doing something fun or rewarding, helps individuals keep a positive outlook on life and stay in a healthy mental state.
  • Coping well during quarantine or isolation: If you’re feeling overwhelmed during the COVID-19 pandemic, you’re not alone. We’re all learning to cope well during social distancing, quarantine, and isolation. We hope this guide is beneficial to you and that it can help you stay healthy in the days ahead.
  • Learning about senior isolation: Senior Isolation is the shorthand term for social isolation in older adults. While social isolation can happen to people of all ages, social services experts claim that lack of contact with others is a serious issue among older adults.
  • Answering anxiety with breath prayers: One of our chaplains offers a practice that helps him calm down and be present.

Life. And all the living that goes with it.

Our mission is Life. And all the living that goes with it. Enhancing the lives of older adults through a culture of care, respect, and service. This includes all aspects of life, including mental health. We know mental health is key to the wellbeing of our team members and residents. To learn more about what services and resources are available, please don't hesitate to contact your community.

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