Boosting Mental And Emotional Health After Age 60

Boosting Mental And Emotional Health After Age 60

This article will discuss 8 ways to increase social interaction after age 60 to help boost mental and emotional health.

A report in 2012 gave some insight into the effects of social isolation on seniors.

boostingmentalandemotionalhealth

   Boosting Mental and Emotional Health

 

According to the author, “social isolation is a major and prevalent health problem among community-dwelling older adults, leading to numerous detrimental health conditions … social isolation will impact the health, well-being, and quality of life of numerous older adults.”

Not only does social isolation have a damaging effect on life expectancy, it also affects our mental health too. Loneliness has been found to increase our risk of depression, social anxiety, addiction, as well as hoarding.

Older people who live in increasingly smaller worlds are particularly at risk of loneliness and therefore diminished mental and emotional health, which is why it is  important that a way is found to increase social interaction.

The following are 8 ways  to boost your mental and emotional health after age 60:

1. Invite Friends For Tea or Coffee

As we get past 60, it’s all too easy to assume that people don’t want us to bother them by inviting them around for tea, coffee, and cake. They’re growing old themselves and they have their own lives to worry about.

You’d be surprised at how much family, friends or even neighbors appreciate being invited round for a chat and some tea and coffee.

2. Go Back To School

Yes, back to school! At numerous colleges and universities, mature students represent around one quarter of the student body. It doesn’t matter how old you are because no one is ever too old to learn.

Taking classes online or on campus to get a degree  or just because you are interested will challenge you, boost your confidence and help you learn new skills.

3. Learn How To Use A Computer

We now live in the age of information, which basically means that computers have taken over young peoples’ lives. The problem for anyone over 60 is that you may have missed the boat and assumed that computers are simply tools for the younger generation.

However, a computer, no matter how daunting it might appear at first, is an incredibly useful social tool that connects you to the outer world. You can get in touch with old friends or even find new friends.

You can join online forums and groups and even go to conventions you never knew existed. It’s a fabulous way of staying in touch with people and opens up your world.

Moreover, your mental health can get a boost too if you try your hand at online games, such as chess.

4. Buy A Phone

You can increase your social interaction by purchasing a cellular phone. Most phone companies now offer monthly contracts, so you can pretty much talk to people on the phone for as long as you want. You can text message too, and even play games on it. Having a cell phone ensures that you will not miss any invitations for a social event.

5. Involve Yourself In Community Activities

Most towns have community centers that hold regular community activities for older people. These activities generally include singing, book clubs, bridge clubs, quiz nights, as well as bingo nights, and yoga groups.

Involving yourself in community activities helps to stimulate your mind and your emotional health and meeting new people is one of the most important action steps to boost your health and wellbeing.

6. Help Others

You’re never too old to learn, and you’re never too old to help others. If you have knowledge and experience that you’ve always wanted to share with other people, now is the time to do it.

Whether you decide to mentor a younger person or help out at a homeless shelter, your mental skills will certainly be tested and sharpened – no matter how rusty they were!

7. Plan Ahead

Sometimes we’re a little bit guilty of not getting much done during the week because we simply haven’t planned anything. We wake up in the morning not knowing what we’re going to do, and so we just drift through the day.

If you buy yourself a calendar and make plans for the week, you’re more likely to stick to them. Moreover, you’ll become more adventurous in your planning and may even consider doing something you’ve never done before.

8. Plan It!

Plan a month of activities that will you engage in. Get creative and write them down in your calendar or date book.

Get creative and choose fun and exciting new adventures, and ask friends to come along. Do this at the beginning of each month and stick to them as you would all those business appointments you used to keep.

Thyroid- What You Should Know

What should you know about your thyroid.

The thyroid gland is small, but plays a big role in how you feel and your day to day health.

The thyroid is made up of two small glands located at the lower aspect of your neck on each side of your wind pipe. You can frequently feel the thyroid if it is abnormally enlarged. Enlargment can also give you a sensation of pressure on your throat , trouble swallowing, choking or sensation of needing to cough.

Thyroid Anatomy

This butterfly-shaped gland can be found in the lower part of your neck. The two “wings” fold around your windpipe. The thyroid is responsible for secreting hormones: T3 (trio-iodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine) into the bloodstream.

These hormones are involved in the delivery of energy to the cells of the body.

Here is how the system works. The thyroid helps regulate your metabolism along with the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus. When the body needs more energy, a chain reaction is touched off.

The hypothalamus is first to respond. It releases TRH (thyrotrophin releasing hormone). This then signals the pituitary to produce TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). The message it sends to the thyroid is to produce T4. This hormone hangs around in the bloodstream until it is needed. T4 doesn’t have a direct job in the cycle except to be converted to T3 which produces the energy the body needs.

The T4 hormone is converted to T3 when more is needed by the body.

It then increases the metabolic rate of the cells throughout the body. It initiates the fight-or-flight response in the body (heart rate increases; fats are broken down for energy consumption).

The entire body starts producing energy.

The thyroid has two jobs in its normal state. It helps the enzymes needed by the cells to pass through the cell membranes. Inside the cell, it helps the mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cell) to produce energy.

Diseases of the Thyroid

The thyroid, like other glands and organs, can have problems.

The two that most people are familiar with are hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.

Hypothyroidism is often blamed for weight gain or the inability to lose weight, feeling tired or lack of energy, dry skin, coarse hair, psychological changes such as depression.

The thyroid produces thyroid hormone which plays a roles in many bodily functions including your bodies metabolism and the utilization of nutrients available for energy.

During hypothyroidism, the thyroid is not producing enough energy for the body. This can lead to weight gain, tiredness, depression, dry skin, dry brittle nails and problems with other organs of the body.

It can be due to a lack of sufficient iodine in the system; however, this is rare in developed countries.

Another reason could be Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disease where the body begins producing antibodies against the thyroid causing it to slow down hormone production.

Hyperthyroidism can have the opposite effect.

It can be linked to overactive nodules within the thyroid, inflammation of the thyroid or an autoimmune disease called Graves’ disease.

In any case, the thyroid shoots into overdrive and produces more hormone than the body needs. That can lead to weight loss, muscle weakness, sleeplessness, excessive perspiration, anxiety, palpitations of the heart and other organ problems.

Thyroid diseases tend to affect women more than men.

Thyroid disease can affect many aspects of your life including productivity and health. If you are concerned you may have a thyroid problem, talk to your doctor. A simple blood test will tell your doctor if your thyroid is functioning appropriately or if you have a problem with an overactive or underactive thyroid gland.

Will Red Wine Improve Your Heart Health

Will Red Wine Improve Your Heart Health

When it comes to healthy eating and drinking, there are more choices than you might realize. You don’t have to drink water all the time.

How about red wine?

It is being touted as the next best thing in heart health.

What is it about red wine that has people up in arms? For one, no one wants to promote drinking alcoholic beverages. If you are not a drinker already, then starting to use red wine to increase your heart health may not be such a good idea.

Alcohol can become addictive and can bring more harm than good for the non-drinker.

But, if you already enjoy a drink every now and then, this information is for you.

Red wine is made from the red grape.

Grapes contain many antioxidants.

We know that these substances are instrumental in reducing the signs of aging. Keeping the body young includes increasing immunity, protecting vessels of the heart and vascular system, improving mood and increasing metabolism while reducing appetite.

In grapes, the antioxidants are found in the skin. When red wine is created, the skin of the grape is used to give it its deep red color.

The skin contains flavonoids and non-flavonoid antioxidants.

Flavonoids have been shown to lower bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) in the body.

Flavonoids are found in grapes as well as cocoa (dark chocolate), berries and apples.

It is the LDL cholesterol that contributes to the formation of plaques and hardening of the arteries in your body.

The hardening of the arteries leads to narrowing of the arteries and decreases the blood supply to your major organs.

The diminished blood supply contributes to your risk of suffering a heart attack, stroke, eye disease, and kidney problems.

Non-flavonoid antioxidants have been found to help increase the health of your heart. When the coronary arteries are clear, then blood and nutrients can reach the heart muscle.

One of the substances in this category is resveratrol.

Resveratrol is a substance found in grape skins that has been getting a lot of attention lately.

It has fueled research into the health benefits alcohol may have on the heart. There are supplements available on the market but no recommendations for daily levels and how much may be needed to positively affect the heart.

Tests have shown that resveratrol can lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity in studies using mice.

The amounts of resveratrol used were far higher than the amount available drinking red wine daily. However, drinking red wine may be beneficial over a period of time or adequate amounts may become available in the form of supplements.

Your doctor may already be recommending you drink a little red wine daily for the heart health benefits.

If you have a problem with drinking too much alcohol or a problem in the past then implementing red wine into your daily routine should be avoided.

 

Preventing Heart Disease In Women

preventingheartdisease

You can’t mend a broken heart.

Preventing Heart Disease In Women

Heart disease kills more women than breast cancer does, but women seem more frightened about their breast cancer odds. One of the commonly shared myths about heart attacks, heart disease, strokes and other heart health problems is that it’s not as widespread among women as it is men.

It’s a myth that women don’t have the same (if not more) risks than a man does when it comes to the heart. It’s also a myth that a heart attack can’t happen to a woman at any age.

Although you can have a heart attack or heart disease without any signs or abnormal lab tests, what you need to know is that as a woman, there are certain risk factors that can target your heart.

These factors can cause you to end up with heart disease or damage to your heart from a heart attack.

Maintaining a normal blood pressure is as important for a woman’s heart as it for a man’s heart. High blood pressure is a sign that your heart is working too hard.

Watching your cholesterol level helps protect your heart. Being proactive, if you don’t have good cholesterol lab results, can help you keep your heart healthier. It’s as important to have good HDL levels as it is to have low LDL levels.

Get your triglycerides tested. This reading can be a warning sign that all is not well for your heart. The higher these are, the higher your change of developing heart problems.

You should also know what else puts you at risk for poor heart health. Not keeping your weight at a healthy level increases your chances of heart related problems. For a woman, any extra weight around the mid-section is dangerous for the heart. Failing to exercise regularly and living a high stress lifestyle with little time to relax can adversely affect the heart.

A lack of rest or prolonged periods of insomnia puts stress on the heart. One of the signs that your heart may not be at optimal health is if you feel fatigued a lot. Fatigue can be a warning sign that your heart isn’t working well and it can be a warning sign of a looming heart attack. If you suffer any unexplained fatigue, then you should be checked out by a doctor.

Women don’t always get the same heart attack warning signs that men get. For a woman, pressure in the chest doesn’t always occur when a heart attack is happening. Feeling sick to your stomach or having pain between your shoulder blades can be a sign of a heart attack for a woman.

How can you protect your heart? If you’re currently a smoker, then take steps to quit. Smoking puts a lot of stress on your heart and can cause heart disease. Lose weight if you’re overweight and exercise regularly. Avoid things that can cause your blood pressure to elevate, like eating a diet high in salt and avoid drinking too much alcohol.

Healthy Tips For Busy Mothers

As mothers, the majority of us are more concerned with the health and wellness of our children than we are of our own health. It’s very easy for mothers to overlook their health because of the everyday responsibilities they face. For example, mothers have to make sure that the kids are up, dressed and fed before they head off to school first thing every morning. Then, for many mothers, they are off to work themselves. Once work is finished, it’s time to hurry back home and take the kids to their extracurricular activities, run errands, pick them back up, go home, fix dinner, make sure the kids’ homework gets done, they bathe and brush their teeth and are in bed at a decent hour.

Of course, all of this is excluding the extra stuff like keeping the house clean, doing laundry, paying bills, etc. Now you can probably see why many mothers aren’t concerned with their health. You may be one of these women yourself. If so, then please understand that it’s important for you to stay healthy. After all, if you get sick then who is going to get everything done? Below are some healthy tips that you need to follow to ensure your good health.

Tip #1 – Eat: Obviously, you don’t have a lot of time to eat, but this is essential to staying healthy. Most of us know that we need to eat three meals a day, but do you also know that you should be eating at least two snacks a day as well? This will keep your metabolism going and your energy levels up – so don’t skimp on your food. You should be eating healthy foods too. Things like yogurt, fruit, granola bars and nuts are quick, easy and healthy!

Tip #2 – Drink: Water that is. In addition to eating healthy foods, you need to be drinking water throughout your day. We’ve all heard the “8 glasses a day” speech so I’m not going to give it to you again. Just stay properly hydrated. It will keep your energy levels up as well as flush the impurities out of your body and ward off urinary tract infections and much more.

Tip #3 – Exercise: Your body needs exercise each day and it doesn’t care whether you’re a mother or not. Although you may find yourself busy throughout the day and exhausted at the end of the day, it’s important that you squeeze in at least 20-30 minutes of exercise each day. There are several ways you can do this. For instance, you can go on a walk after dinner, play Xbox Kinect or Nintendo Wii games with your family or enroll in a yoga class at a fitness club.

Tip #4 – Be Happy: As women and mothers, we tend to overload ourselves with work, family and worries. There isn’t much time to focus on being happy. However, this is important too. Studies have shown that, generally, happy people are healthier people. In order to become happier, consider setting aside a little time for yourself every day – or week – to do something you like doing. This time will help you feel refreshed and become happier.

Tip #5 – Sleep: Getting a good night of sleep is critical to your overall health. Sleep is when your body recharges itself. So, naturally, if you aren’t getting enough sleep you aren’t operating on a “full battery,” which means you’ll wear out quicker. It also means your body will too, which depletes your immune system. So, get the sleep you need at night.