Today, on National Seniors Day, the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) celebrates the important contribution older adults continue to make to the fabric of our society. Yet, in spite of their wisdom and experience, ageist attitudes threaten their mental well-being. Too often they are sidelined, dismissed, or overlooked, and we frequently fail to take their mental health problems as seriously as we do for younger people.
While COVID-19 has challenged us all, many seniors are being disproportionately affected by the pandemic, due in part to a heightened risk of physical complications, changes to support services, and increased social isolation. Armed with a lifetime of lessons learned and hurdles overcome, however, seniors are in many ways well-equipped to weather the storm, and younger generations have much to learn from their example.
Ample evidence tells us that it’s never too late to bend and flex our resiliency muscles. Our ability to hone resiliency doesn’t come with a best-before date — whether we’re dealing with increased isolation and anxiety from COVID-19 or simply managing life’s inevitable curve balls. If you need help getting started, our cultivating resilience tip sheet offers great suggestions on how to do so.
In addition, the MHCC’s tips for older adults to protect their mental wellness during the pandemic provides a number of new and simple ways for seniors to stay well. For those coping with stressors — COVID related or otherwise — a range of evidence-based strategies for maintaining mental well-being is available at Fountain of Health, a non-profit organization dedicated to optimal aging.
For those acting as informal caregivers to older adults, the pandemic has exposed (and widened) some of the gaps your unpaid labour is striving to bridge. With you in mind, we’ve created a new tip sheet on caring for older adults during COVID-19, which you may find helpful.
On National Seniors Day, let’s remember that fostering mental wellness and resiliency is a lifelong journey.
President and CEO, Mental Health Commission of Canada
Mental Health Commission of Canada
613-683-3748 / email@example.com