Maintaining Mental Health for Seniors

Published: October 8, 2021

Seniors need challenges. Without these adversities, their brain becomes disengaged. However, retirement comes with free time, and many seniors don’t know what to do with themselves. They find it difficult to remain busy and active. When this happens, they may begin experiencing mental health issues. These problems plague many seniors, but they aren’t a certainty. 

Depression and Senior Citizens

Many seniors find Independent Living communities allow them to remain socially active while still maintaining their freedom and privacy. This remains a great concern, as there are many seniors in America today that struggle with depression, often due to isolation. Living on one’s own while being surrounded by other seniors significantly reduces the risk of depression in elderly Americans and is an option every person should consider as they get older. 

Depression is often overlooked in the elderly. The symptoms of this mental health condition mimic symptoms seen with countless other disorders, and a person may be misdiagnosed repeatedly. For instance, depression often comes with weight loss, and doctors might assume the senior suffers from a gastrointestinal disorder, never stopping to consider depression as they go to treat the individual. 

A senior’s physical health impacts their mental health and the same holds in reverse. When a person is physically ill, they become more prone to depression. When a person is depressed, they become more at risk of physical health issues. To minimize the risk of physical ailments and mental health problems, seniors may do several things. The following serve as some activities a senior may engage in to maintain their mental health and wellness as well as their physical well-being. 

Remain Active

Individuals who remain active as they age find they have more energy, they feel stronger, and their mood improves. As a result, their quality of life improves. Men and women need to find an activity they love and enjoy engaging in. The type of exercise isn’t as important as remaining up and moving. Exercise boosts the immune system and helps to reduce the risk of serious health conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. Every senior needs to make physical activity a regular part of their day to stay healthy and reduce their risk of depression and other mental health issues. 


Seniors remain at great risk of social isolation and depression. This, in turn, puts them at high risk of dementia and other serious health problems. Sadly, 25% of seniors today are socially isolated. Even those men and women lucky enough to be surrounded by others may find they are lonely for a variety of reasons. This loneliness leads to higher rates of mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. Seniors who live in a community with other elderly individuals find they have plenty of opportunities to socialize and safeguard their mental health. 

Spend Time with Family

Individuals feel good when they are able to help others. Grandparents benefit greatly from helping to care for their grandchildren, according to recent research. Scientists found that grandparents live longer when they are able to help care for their grandkids, as it helps to keep them active. However, if the grandkids don’t live close, a person can get the same benefits by helping to care for peers in need. Furthermore, a senior with no grandchildren will get similar benefits if they help their children. The key lies in finding the balance between doing enough to help protect physical and mental health without becoming stressed or overwhelmed. 

Benefit from Technology

In the past, families often stayed in the same place for years. Children would grow up in the same city or town their parents and grandparents did. Today, Americans move around much more than they did in past generations. However, families can stay connected. With the help of technology, they have more ways to do so than ever before. When a person thinks of technology, they may bring to mind cell phones and computers. Both items are of great help in keeping people connected, as video calls and phone calls remain great ways to stay in touch. Email and snail mail remain great ways to communicate as well. However, technology also comes in the form of assistive devices and medical alert systems, among others. With these items, individuals may live alone longer and still have help when they need it most. 


Pets ensure seniors have companionship. The senior is less likely to feel alone and overwhelmed.And pets, for the most part, are best at providing unconditional love. The pet helps to encourage social interaction, as anyone with a dog knows. People often walk up and start a conversation about the animal and the senior benefits from the human interaction that takes place. Furthermore, dogs encourage the owner to get exercise, which remains of great importance to seniors.  


Seniors have time on their hands, something that may have been in short supply when they worked and had kids around the house to care for. Retirement serves as a great time to begin volunteering. Countless opportunities exist for individuals to give time to an organization in need, whether it be a local non-profit, a school, or another organization. In fact, a person may find they can volunteer from the comfort of their own home, depending on what the organization needs. 

Find ways to remain active during your senior years. Individuals who do so discover their mental health improves along with their physical health. Pick one or more of the activities mentioned above and become involved. When you do so, you’ll find the benefits are priceless and go far beyond what is listed. 

About The Residences at Plainview:

The Residences at Plainview is a resort-style community on Long Island for independent adults looking for the kind of luxury they want and deserve. The Residences includes spacious apartments with full kitchens, concierge services, a fully equipped gym, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a sports bar, dedicated activity rooms, relaxation lounges, a putting green, and gourmet meals prepared by our Executive Chef and served in our dining room. Ask about our specials and schedule a tour when you give us a call or fill out a contact form.