Good mental wellbeing is important for everyone, regardless of age
Mental health problems are extremely common, affecting around one in four people globally. As we get older, changes in life, such as bereavement, illness or retirement can make us more vulnerable to low mood, depression and anxiety, and other mental health conditions
Here are some things you can do to help or improve your mental wellbeing:
Stay connected - find ways to avoid loneliness and social isolation by talking to family or friends
Keep active - both physically and mentally
Watch your diet - Eating a healthy diet can have a positive effect on how you feel
Increase your sense of purpose - Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and do good
Go outside - spending time in nature can really help your health and wellbeing
Get enough sleep - learn relaxation techniques and breathing exercises to help you to feel calmer
We all feel down from time to time, but if you are feeling low and irritable for longer periods of time, you may be suffering from depression.
- loss of confidence and feeling down
- feeling anxious or panicky
- not being able to enjoy the things you usually do
- unexplained aches and pains
- avoiding people, even those you’re close to
- sleeping badly
- loss of appetite
- feeling bad or guilty, or dwelling on things from the past.
- Persistent feeling of sadness
- Having no interest in hobbies and activities
- Feeling tired and having no energy
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feeling bad or guilty, or dwelling on things from the past
- Feeling helpless or hopeless
- Not wanting to go out or mix with people, even those you are close to
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty sleeping
- Constantly worrying for no apparent reason
- Getting irritable with people very easily
- Unexplained aches and pains
Depression is just as significant as a physical illness, so speak to your doctor and explain how you are feeling. You can then agree on the best treatment for you, such as talking to a counsellor who can help you manage your thoughts and feelings and the effect they have on you.
Call the free and confidential national mental health on 16000 to speak to a mental health professional.
A common trigger for depression can be bereavement. People are affected by bereavement in many different ways and it can take time to adjust to the loss of a loved one.
If you feel that you are not coping it is important that you talk about it and share your feelings with someone that can help. You might feel the best way to cope is to discuss feelings with family or friends. If you do not feel this works for you then you can always contact your doctor for advice on getting some counselling.
Depression in older adults can be triggered by
- Painful life events; loss of loved ones
- Physical illness like problem with thyroid gland or stroke or certain disabling conditions like Parkinson’s Disease
- Previous history of Depression
- Medications - certain medications can cause depression
- Loneliness and isolation
What can you do to help yourselves?
If you feel that you are not coping it is important that you talk about it and share your feelings with someone that can help like your family or friends
- You can speak to your doctor at your primary health center about how you feel or call the mental health helpline on 16000
- Keep active by engaging in regular physical activity
- Stay connected by meeting up with friends and keeping up with hobbies
- Eating a healthy balance diet and staying hydrated is important
- Do not change your medications without discussing this with your doctor.