Exercise, Tai chi and qigong, self-help through books (bibliotherapy), computer-based therapies or computer games, and reminiscing on the challenges a senior has overcome in life came out tops as the most effective activities for improving the emotional well-being of older people. These activities were detailed in a new booklet (left) developed for aged care workers to help them identify and protect the mental health of older Australians.
Said beyondblue’s CEO Georgie Harman, “Around one in 10 older adults experiences depression and a similar number experiences anxiety. Mental health conditions are even more common among older people in the community who are frail and need support to remain at home, and among those in residential care. Research shows nearly 35 percent of people living in residential care facilities have depression.”