What contributes to good mental health as we age
It's no secret that mental health can sadly deteriorate as we age, this could be from a variety of factors ranging from decline in physical health, social life or a lack of sense of purpose. This Mental Health Awareness Day, we take a look at some of the ways we make every effort to keep our residents loving every day at brighterkind.
- How to improve mental health with physical activity
- How friends, both new and old contribute to our well-being
- Pets as therapy and how our fury friends lift our mood
How to improve mental health with physical activity
Just because you are older or living in a care home, doesn’t mean that you can’t stay active. There’s something for everyone, even those who aren’t as mobile as they were. Take a look at the pink activity notice boards in every brighterkind care home and you will often see exercise sessions on the day’s agenda. The classes are specially adapted for all ages and abilities; they focus on keeping you physically active, whilst having great fun at the same time. One day a class could involve ‘armchair pom poms’, the next day they could be taking a walk out to the local park.
Each brighterkind care home also has specially adapted sports equipment so they can hold Magic Moments Sports Sessions. They include Armchair Volleyball, Clock Cricket, Slipper Soccer or indoor bowling- they certainly add some friendly competitive fun and laughter into the mix! Some homes even hire mobility bikes so residents can feel the fresh air on their faces and the wind in their hair again!
Friends and Family
One reason for a decline in mental health could be a lack of social interaction. No man is an island and for most people, human connection and friendships are vital in keeping a happy mind.
It’s never too late to make new friends, and when you move into a care home there are always lots of new people to get to know; both the other residents in the home as well as the team members too.
Our Magic Moments Club is specifically set up to include many activities that give you the opportunity to meet like-minded people. For example, maybe you are a keen knitter, writer or musician. Or maybe you have never done any of these things but would love to learn. Our Magic Moments Club Coordinators are some of the most enthusiastic bunch of people you will ever meet, and they love to hear new ideas for clubs that they can put on in their homes which bring people together in a common cause.
Pets are therapy
If you are an animal lover, you may have owned pets all your life. Sadly, many older people feel that they can’t look after pets as well as they once could and understandably they miss the company of their faithful friends. This has also been linked to a sharp decline in some older people’s mental health too.
Our homes will often have visits from pets such as friendly cats and dogs, and some even have their own pets who live in the home with them. Some of the more unusual animal visits have included Shetland ponies, reptiles, birds of prey and even visits from alpacas aren't off the cards!
Every brighterkind home now has a Magic Moments Club which provides a vast range of activities and fun things to do that are open to all of our residents.
The idea behind Magic Moments is that just because someone moves into a care home doesn't mean that the things they love doing should suddenly stop – quite the contrary, we believe our residents should have the opportunity to love every day, by doing the things that they have always loved as well as trying new things along the way.
Magic moments are unique to each individual and so it is important that the Magic Moments programme reflects this, tailoring activities to meet each resident’s individual needs in the best possible way, whilst at the same time enjoying the company of others.
You can download our Magic Moments Club brochure, here.
You may be interested in reading other other Top Tip blogs below:
Top Tips 1 - Am I eligible for Attendance Allowance?
Top Tips 2 - How to fill out the Attendance Allowance Form