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Retirees Protect Mental Health With Preventative Measures

July 25, 2014
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Parenting-Grandparents-Find-SupportRetirement has been called the “Golden Years” of life. Without responsibilities of a career or raising young children, many Canadians feel a new sense of freedom. However, this freedom can be quickly restricted by health troubles. 

Health is a high priority for retirees. If it isn’t, it should be. Diet and exercise are important to keeping a sharp memory. In addition, social interactions and activities for the mind are important, too.

Four preventative measures

Here are four preventative measures that encourage positive mental health in aging adults:

  • Diet – The Mayo Clinic believes, “A heart healthy diet might benefit your brain.”7 An article written to seniors mentions that fruits, vegetables and whole grains are valuable components of a daily diet. They also advise consuming lean meats and fish as sources of low-fat protein and encourage seniors to avoid alcohol, as this can “…lead to confusion and memory loss.”
  •  Exercise – Numerous health benefits are available to those who exercise on a regular basis. CDC recommends8 adults break a sweat for two and a half hours with moderate-intensity aerobics. In addition, add weight bearing exercises that include all muscle groups at least two days per week. This ensures blood will continue to pump, energizing the body and brain.
  • Mental Activities – Be sure to work out the brain by exercising it regularly. Mayo Clinic recommends using cross word puzzles and playing musical instruments to exercise this essential organ.
  • Socialize – Social withdraw is a sign of depression and mental distress. The mind is strengthened when engaging in conversation, using vocabulary and recalling short-term and long-term memories. Also, socialization can lead to emotional support, which benefits the mind and increases quality of life at any age (“The State of Aging & Health in America”).

Seek Quality Treatment Options

Photo-by-Rosie-OBeirneRemaining active and engaged are two key components to warding off mental disorders, mood disturbances and varying forms of dementia. People over the age of 65 increase their chances of receiving some mental illness diagnoses as they age. Fortunately, many symptoms can be reversed or alleviated when the right course of preventative action is taken.

More than living a proactive lifestyle, it is important to seek emotional support outside of family and friends. Visiting a psychologist or counsellor on a regular basis can help a person understand the changes he or she is going through. If there are signs of mental illness, seeing this type of professional may increase chances of early detection (“Seniors”).

When equipped with medical support and a preventative plan, a long, refreshing retirement can be expected. Understanding mental illnesses that plague senior adults, putting a healthy living plan in place and investing in a relationship with a therapist is the best way to remain guarded from these diseases.

Some people spend their entire lives looking forward to retirement. Looking out for their mental health may be the best way to truly live the dream.

 

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