Mental Health Archive

Taking Good Care Of Yourself

It’s official: We are all living longer.

Recent findings from the World Health Organisation suggest that the proportion of the world’s elderly population (those 60 and over) will almost double from around 12% to 22%. Whilst this is certainly good news, the upcoming demographic shift is one that will certainly be made more difficult for us if those elderly people are struggling with health issues. Countries like Japan have already experienced an ageing population (30% of the country is over the age of 60), but now more countries from middle and low incomes are coming to terms with an increasing number of elderly people in their ranks.

Whether you’re a middle-aged person who is wondering how their elderly life might pan out, or if you’re already in your twilight years and are looking to improve your lifestyle, these tips should point you in the right direction:

Get active and stay active

Regardless of your age, it’s vitally important to be physically active. Daily physical activity, whether it’s taking a walk, attending an aerobics class or taking a dip in your pool, is absolutely crucial to improving your chances of a happy life in your golden year. Each of us have a different Basal Metabolic Rate (the number of calories required to keep your body functioning whilst you’re resting) which means that we each need to stay active to varying degrees in order to maintain our weight. By exercising regularly you can keep on top of weight gain and keep your muscles healthy through to old age.

You are what you eat!

Whilst we’re on the subject of BMR, what you eat throughout your life has a huge impact on your health as an older person. Having a varied, healthy diet is a cornerstone of good overall health and something that shouldn’t be overlooked if you’re hoping to remain physically and mentally healthy into your later years. We all have our own tastes, but you may have to eat foods that you don’t like in order to keep a healthy balance of nutrients in your body. The NHS has a good guide on how to build a healthy diet, but be prepared to make significant changes to your diet in order to change for the better.

Staying social

Talking to new people, meeting up with old friends and seeing your family are all great ways of keeping yourself social throughout your life, but its especially important when you get to later life. As we get older, we get tired more easily and we’re more liable to stay in our homes instead of venturing outside, this can be especially relevant during winter. Keeping socially active keeps self-esteem at a healthy level and also makes us more mentally alert in our later years. Engage in local community schemes, or see what’s on at your local library or community hall to find an activity that will suit you.

Using your mind

We might not all be able to stay sharp as a tack for the rest of our lives, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t keep ourselves mentally engaged. Simple crosswords, Sudoku or even video games can help keep our minds ticking over throughout our lives.

These kinds of activities require no physical exertion on our part, but they do help us keep present and engaged with the world, which is important should we wish to be still knocking around until our nineties……

3 Mental Health Charities Working in Buckinghamshire

Mental Health issues have never been more relevant than they are today.

Although the NHS offers a good range of quality services relating to Mental Health throughout the county, there are certain services that have extremely long waiting lists or are simply too oversubscribed to take on any more cases.

Thankfully there are a handful of well established Mental Health charities that are focused on providing the people of Buckinghamshire with a variety of well-researched services which aim to fill the gaps that the NHS inevitably leaves behind.

Relate 

Relate is the largest provider of relationship support in the UK. They offer a number of services to pretty much the entirety of Buckinghamshire (except Milton Keynes), Windsor, Maidenhead and Slough. Modern lives are full of complex relationships that can suffer over an extended period of time, it takes time and patience to work through these, though it’s often the case that we need a helping hand in the process, that’s where Relate can help. Sex Therapy, Relationship Counselling and Couples Therapy are just a few of the services that they offer to people of all ages and backgrounds.

They have an extremely open and inclusive approach to helping out anyone who is in distress as a result of being in a relationship, whether past or present and charge £60 for each counselling session which usually lasts around 50 minutes. For those that cannot afford this, they also offer reduced rates for those who meet certain criteria.

Lindengate

The people at Lindengate have a rather different approach to tackling Mental Health. Conceived of in 2012, the 5-acre site (adjacent to the Wyevale Garden Centre in Wendover Lindengate) opened it’s doors in 2014, offering a huge variety of horticultural activities for those who might not have access to them. Through regular Gardening Therapy sessions, the volunteers at Lindengate help those with Autism and Dementia to complete gardening tasks that help stimulate the mind and build self-esteem. Lindengate runs a self-referral scheme as well, allowing essentially anyone to apply to take part.

Getting outside in the fresh air, in combination with the therapeutic activity of gardening, has been proven to be incredibly helpful for people living with a variety of conditions in the Buckinghamshire area.

Mind Buckinghamshire

One of the oldest charities in the UK, Buckinghamshire Mind has been operating for over 100 years, striving to support and represent people with mental health problems across the county. They’re taking a proactive approach to Mental Health by raising awareness for Mental Health issues, offering service user the opportunity live safe, purposeful lives as part of their communities as opposed to being outside of them. The services they run include Activity Groups (such as Arts & Crafts, Open Discussions and Bingo), Employment Support and Befriending.

Mind Buckinghamshire have long existed as a source for high-quality mental health services, which has ensured that thousands of Buckinghamshire residents have been able to get to grips with their Mental Health, without feeling excluded from their own community.…