“I live for my grandsons now. They give my life purpose. Kids have a way of bringing us back to what's important.”
Wendy

Overview

Becoming older brings life changes—more time for family, friends, travel, hobbies, and other things you have wanted to do.

You or your loved one might be experiencing other changes as well. These may include different living conditions, relationships, mental and physical health issues, and ability to self-care. It is important that you continue to look after yourself.

Supporting yourself

As you get older you can experience many changes– from lifestyle to physical and mental health changes. Your wellbeing is as important now as at any other stage of life.

If you feel that you need to talk to someone about how to best manage all of these changes, it's okay to reach out for help. Asking for support from a family member, friend, or anyone you trust is a positive first step. You may find this information on seeking support helpful.

The resources on this page have ideas on how to look after your mental health and wellbeing.

Supporting another person

If you are supporting an older person in your life, it’s useful to be aware of some of the major areas of stress for them. These include physical health struggles, social isolation, lack of access to treatment, changing living arrangements, and financial stresses.

Common causes of stress include changes in relationships, and the experience of grief and loss of their independence, working life, and mobility, among others.

Try to find out what can bring comfort and a renewed sense of hope and joy in the life of the older person in your life that you love or are caring for. This, combined with finding ways to help them stay physically active and socially engaged, can help build good mental health. Encourage embracing healthy ageing. This can be from how you show compassion, communicate support, care and sit with the person. Simple practical ways to show you care are a phone call, to dropping off shopping, writing a letter, sharing a joke or a picture. Talking to the person you love or are caring for can help them to feel connected, even if they are not able to respond to you.

In supporting an older person, it is important to look after yourself as well. Take a look at our pages on support for carers and how to support someone.

We also have resources below with information on how to look after an older person in your life.

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Page last updated 11th July 2019