World Mental Health Day: Supporting your loved one

On October 10th every year, The World Health Organisation promotes World Mental Health Day, which has the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the globe, breaking down stereotypes, and encouraging people to show their support for mental wellbeing. This year, the theme set by the WHO is ‘Mental Health For All’.

Research continues to show that our mental wellbeing has a massive impact on our physical health. Unfortunately, many older adults are at significant risk of depression, as research shows it affects 22% of men and 28% of women aged 65 and over.

 

With that in mind, family members, caregivers and friends should pay close attention to their older loved one’s mental health.

 

Here are some tips towards supporting your mental wellbeing:

 

Staying connected with your loved ones

COVID-19 Pandemic has meant that we have not been able to see and spend time with our family members and friends as much as we would like. Making the effort to Facetime or call your loved one regularly, or perhaps a socially distanced chat, can make all the difference.

Schedule regular phone calls to catch up with loved ones, and sending mail or email letters, cards, and photos are a great idea too. Create a memory book and share it with your loved one. Social interaction can be vital for boosting emotional wellbeing, and it also ensures your loved ones don’t feel isolated or lonely.

 

Keeping Active

Just as much as emotional health impacts on physical wellbeing, being fit and active is great for supporting good mental health. Encourage your loved one to go outside, taking walks in their local area, or showing them how to do chair exercises, will ensure they benefit from a boost of dopamine, perfect for reducing feelings of stress, anxiety or depression.

 

Encouraging time out for enjoyable and relaxing activities:

Activities and hobbies can not only provide your loved ones with something to keep them busy, but also allows them time to destress and relax. Painting and drawing is ideal for exploring their creative side and can be simple to get started on. Creating a memory book of their own could be a nice little project to work on, as well as other hobbies such as knitting, embroidery or cross-stitch. Alternatively, if they’re looking for something a little simpler to exercise their minds, crosswords and word searches can be relaxing and enjoyable.

Maintaining good sleeping habits

Encouraging your loved one to get into the habit of going to bed and getting up at the same time each day is important towards creating a routine and helping their mental health. Getting enough sleep is vital for good physical and mental wellbeing.

 

Provide a list of helplines 

Most importantly, there’s a lot of support available for elderly individuals looking for mental health advice, and many are available via telephone. You’ll want to ensure they can easily access professional help and support should you be unavailable, or if they want to speak to someone confidentially.

These include:

For mental health support, call the Samaritans: 116 123

For befriending and mental health advice, call The Silver Line: 0800 470 80 90

For grief and bereavement advice, call Cruse: 0808 808 1677

For mental health and general advice, call Age UK: 0800 678 1602

For loneliness and general advice, call Independent Age: 0800 319 6789

 

Here at Rosebank Care Home, the mental wellbeing of our residents is a central part of our philosophy. Our carers spend time with every resident each day to discuss how they’re feeling, and monitor their emotional wellness. We also host a range of daily activities to keep them engaged, allowing residents to explore their creative side while connecting with others socially.

 

If you’d like to hear more about our Bampton-based home, our team would love to speak to you. To contact us, call 01993 850308, and keep up to date with the latest news on our Facebook page.

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