Activities that can help with Mental Health in Older Age

Activities that can help with Mental Health in Older Age

Many of us will unfortunately suffer from Mental Health Issues in our lifetime such as Depression and anxiety, or more rarely Bipolar Disorder or Schizophrenia. Though some aspects of our mental health may be beyond our control, and we should always follow our own care plans, many leading experts believe there are lots of activities we can take part in that will help us keep at bay many of the causes of mental health issues. 

Mental Health Awareness Week starts today and will end on the 17th of May. Stannah Homelift’s are showing their support towards Mental Health by sharing 5 simple things you can do to keep Mental Health Issues at bay.

Join a Club

For a variety of reasons such as the death of a loved one, or even retiring from work, at some point many of us can find ourselves more cut-off from the outside world than we’ve previously been. However, social engagement is important at every stage of life and, without it, we can quickly become depressed. One way of overcoming this situation is to join clubs. What club you join is up to you, but local walking societies, sports clubs, dancing clubs and literature societies are often popular with the over 60s. Whatever you fancy, you know you’ll meet plenty of like-minded people with whom you can participate and talk to.

Learn Something New

Intellectual stimulation can have a positive effect on our wellbeing and is often associated with lowering the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. We’ve probably all got something that we’ve always fancied doing but could never find the time, so now you’ve got the time – make the most of it. Why not learn a new Language like Spanish – and then book yourself a holiday to Spain to put your new found skill into practice in the best possible way.


Staying physically active is just as important as being mentally active, and taking regular exercise can be a major factor to mental health as well as physical health. Exercise is brilliant for increasing blood circulation which encourages the body to deliver the sugar your brain needs to generate new brain cells. It also helps your body flush out waste products. The perfect type of exercise would be one that raises your heart-rate to around 125-130 beats per minute for around one hour, at least three times a week. Swimming, cycling or gentle exercise classes are all excellent methods of providing this type of exercise.


Whether you’ve always cooked, sometimes cooked or never cooked – it’s time to start doing more of it. Not only can the act of cooking be stimulating and satisfying – it’s also a fantastic way of controlling what food you put into your body.

The older we get, the healthier we need to eat – and eating more whole grains, fruits and vegetables may help our brains stay healthier. Equally, it is widely regarded that eating too much white sugar, refined carbohydrates and saturated fat can impact negatively on cognitive health.

Play Games Or Do Puzzles

Mentally stimulating activities such as playing games or doing puzzles can help us keep our minds sharp. Puzzles are great for quiet moments when we desire some mental stimulation but there’s nobody around to provide it, whilst games are great for having fun with family or friends and keeping the planning, tactical and organisational parts of our minds active and engaged.All these activities are also great for achieving Mindfulness – the art of “Paying attention to the present moment, without getting stuck in the past or worrying about the future.”

The understanding and application of mindfulness has proven to be successful in treating mental health issues – and is the topic for this year’s Mental Health Week which takes place between the 11-17 May.

To read more about Mindfulness and Mental Health Week visit the Mental Health Foundation website.

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