World Mental Health Day: Taking care of your loved one

The World Health Organisation promotes World Mental Health Day on October 10th every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world, breaking down the stereotypes and encouraging people to show their support for mental wellbeing. The theme this year, set by the WHO, is ‘Mental Health for all’.

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

 

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

 

We’ve got some tips for supporting your loved one’s mental wellbeing:

 

Encouraging time out for enjoyable and relaxing activities

Activities and hobbies such as painting and drawing can not only provide your loved ones with something to keep them busy, but also allows them some time to de-stress and relax.

Creating a memory book of their own is ideal for exploring their creative side, and can be simple to get started 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.

 

Keeping Active

Being fit and active is great for supporting good mental health. Encouraging your loved one to go outside, perhaps taking walks in their local area, or doing as much physical activity as they can, ensures they stay fit and healthy. Showing them how to do chair exercises will also ensure they benefit from a boost of dopamine, perfect for reducing feelings of anxiety, stress or depression.

 

Maintaining good sleeping habits

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

 

Staying connecting with your loved ones

Social interaction can be vital for boosting emotional wellbeing, and it also ensures your loved ones don’t feel isolated or lonely.

The COVID-19 pandemic has unfortunately meant that many of us have not been able to see and spend time with our family members and friends as much as we would like to.  Scheduling regular phone calls to catch up with loved ones, and sending mail or email letters, cards, and photos are a great way to stay connected with each other.

Facetime and Skype are also great alternatives to see your loved one during this challenging time for everyone.

 

Provide a list of helplines

There are a lot of resources available for elderly individuals looking for mental health advice, and many are available via phone. Ensuring your loved one can easily access professional help and support should you be unavailable is vital.

These include:

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

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

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

For mental health support, call the Samaritans: 116 123

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

 

Here at Churchfields Care Home, we ensure to give the best care possible to our residents. Mental Health and Well-Being support is at the centre 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 Cassington-based home, our team would love to speak to you. To contact us, call 01865 881440, and keep up to date with the latest news on our Facebook page.

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