Caring for an Aging Population: How to Maintain Your Elderly Parent’s Mental Health

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The world is aging rapidly, with the proportion of the population aged 60 years and above expected to go from 12 percent today to 22 percent in 2050, according to the World Health Organization. Unfortunately, even though people are living much longer than they used to, the quality of life of many seniors is still low, with more than 20 percent of them dealing with various mental disorders. Mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, and depression can make life unbearable for seniors, which is why it’s important for their loved ones and caregivers to help them prevent and deal with such issues. If you have elderly parents, these are some of the things you can do to help them boost their mental health. 

Get physical 

Physical exercise is essential for both the physical and mental health of your parents. However, for it to work, you must be careful when helping them choose the types of exercise that they can do. For example, if your parent is still in good physical shape, exercises such as taking walks or cycling can keep them fit and relieve mental health problems such as depression and stress. If your parent has physical limitations, you can have them try low-impact exercises such as stretching, yoga, and chair exercises. Yoga is particularly effective for seniors as a way to manage stress, depression, and anxiety. 

Get them insured 

Seniors face a lot of risks in their day-to-day lives, many of which can lead to the buildup of stress and anxiety. As such, seniors need various types of insurance so that they can rest easy knowing that should the risks happen, they’ll be covered. One key type of insurance that your elderly parents need is health insurance. Seniors face a lot more health problems than other people, and having adequate health insurance gives them peace of mind since they know that they’ll be covered should they ever need medical help. Another type of insurance that your parents need is life insurance. You may have found yourself wondering, can I buy life insurance for my parents? Well, the answer is yes. There are many companies that will allow you to buy life insurance for your parents to cover any medical bills, financial debts, and funeral expenses that arise when they pass on. This way, they can live out the rest of their days happily knowing that they won’t leave a burden when their time comes. Burial insurance for your parents is easy to purchase, and most likely is less expensive than you think.

Choosing where to stay 

The environment in which your parent lives in can have a huge impact on their mental health. For most seniors, the choice is usually down to aging in place or going to an assisted living facility. If your parent prefers to age in place, make sure that the home is always in good condition and that there’s someone to help them should they need it. The best-case scenario is when there’s a friend or family member always available to help, but if that’s not possible, you can hire a caregiver to cater to their needs. You can also look into various assistive technologies to boost independence and make life less stressful for your parent at home. If your parent prefers to live in an assisted living facility, look for one that meets all their needs in terms of location, size, living conditions, activities, and available amenities. 

Mental health problems not only make your parents unhappy in their old age but can also exacerbate various physical health problems. By choosing a favorable place for them to stay, helping them to stay active, and getting them adequate insurance coverage, you can improve your parents’ mental health and ensure that they enjoy every minute of their golden years.

BetterHelp has more resources if you want to learn more.

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