Maintaining good mental health is important for seniors

May 25 – ASHTABULA – May is Mental Health Month with this year’s theme learning to manage emotions, mental health triggers and dealing with the unexpected.

Most people aged 60 and over enjoy good mental health, but many older people are at risk of developing mental disorders, neurological disorders or substance abuse problems, as well as other health problems such as diabetes. , hearing loss and osteoarthritis.

Dr. Nathaniel Franley, a family and sports medicine physician at Ashtabula County Medical Center, suggests ways to help prevent depression later in life.

“There is still nothing more powerful than exercise in protecting the brain. It can help fight depression and reduce the risk of many cancers, heart disease and strokes,” he said. declared. “The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity five days a week and a few days a week of strength training.”

Franley also recommends playing an instrument or playing intellectual games like dominoes, cards, chess or checkers, and staying social can help keep your mind sharp, he said.

More than 19 million Americans suffer from at least one depressive episode each year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Anxiety can be triggered by stress or grief, but even more so by common situations like meeting new people or being in an unfamiliar place.

Depression can also be caused by isolation or major life changes such as retirement, moving or relationship conflicts. Older adults can experience these common stresses, but also stressors that are more common later in life, such as significant ongoing loss of abilities and decline in functional ability. For example, older people may experience reduced mobility, chronic pain, frailty, or other health conditions, for which they need some form of long-term care. In addition, older people are more likely to experience events such as bereavement or a decline in their socioeconomic status in retirement.

All of these stressors can lead to isolation, loneliness or psychological distress in older people, for which they may require long-term care, according to the WHO.

Mental health has an impact on physical health and vice versa. For example, older people with physical health conditions such as heart disease have higher rates of depression than those who are healthy, according to the WHO.

Treatment options considered for all ages include therapy, medications, and lifestyle changes. Only by speaking with a mental health professional can a person develop an individualized treatment plan.

Local senior centers can help seniors connect with others.

Many seniors need help making and getting to doctor’s appointments, which can include mental health facilities.

Ashtabula County Transportation System (ACTS) buses provide transportation service in all areas of Ashtabula County – at designated bus stops and areas not accessible by regular bus lines.

Door-to-door service is Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Trips must be scheduled 24 to 48 hours in advance. You can call 440-992-4411 or toll-free at 800-445-4140. When you call, please be ready with the following information:

“Where are you coming from?

—Where would you like to go;

—When you must arrive, and

“When you have to come back.

When planning a trip with door-to-door service, you will be given a 30-minute time slot during which you can expect to be picked up. Drivers are asked to wait no more than five minutes after arriving at your pickup location.

Call ACTS at (440) 992-4411 or toll-free at (800) 445-4140 if you want the bus to pick you up closer to home.

If you need to talk about anxiety or depression with a psychiatrist, ACMC providers offer telehealth visits, as well as office visits. To make an appointment, call 440-997-6969.

Maintaining good mental health is important for seniors

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