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Mental Health

Mental health includes emotional stability, the joy to live and good interpersonal relationships. Common mental problems of elders include :

  • Distress and sense of helplessness due to physical deterioration in function, for example, blurred vision and hearing difficulty
  • Adjustment difficulty after retirement, for example, loss of financial independence, feeling of emptiness for lack of life goal, etc.
  • Social isolation, and feelings of out of touch with the world owing to the rapid changing environment
  • Loss of confidence and self worth, misconception that family members and society no longer respect them
  • Sense of loneliness as adult children leave the family

Online video: Cultivating Seed of Compassion

How to maintain mental health

Continue to participate

Retain social ties and participate actively in community

  • Cultivate appropriate hobby and redevelop favorite pursuits to maintain joy in living
  • Keep an eye on current issues and avoid losing contact with society
  • Know community resources to reduce social isolation

Continue to contribute

  • Care for the family members and contribute, for example, by helping in childcare which can add to the sense of self worth and living enjoyment
  • Share experiences and wisdom with the younger generation, for example, by acting as advisor and volunteer

Maintain financial independence

  • Have advanced planning in finance to safeguard standard of living. Seek help from government in case of need
Fight the Virus with Peace of Mind: Psychological Adjustments to the COVID-19 Outbreak

When facing the COVID-19 outbreak, we may experience some common stress reactions. These stress reactions will gradually subside if we take good care of ourselves. The following are some tips on maintaining peace of mind when fighting the virus.

Stress in the Elderly

Stress is a normal part of urban life. It has both negative and positive sides to it. Stress can provide us with the motivation needed for enhancement of work efficiency and performance. However, chronic and/or excessive stress will adversely affect our physical, mental and social well-being. Therefore, stress management is essential to our health.

Coping with Chronic Illness

In Hong Kong, over 70% of elders suffer from one or more chronic illness(es). Chronic illnesses can create stress in elders and the carers, both physically and psychologically.

Anger Management

Anger is an emotion, so natural that there is no right or wrong in itself. However, like other feelings, anger can elicit behavior, which can be distinguished between right or wrong, rational or irrational. Sustained angry feeling would be detrimental not only to our physical and psychosocial health, but also to familial and societal harmony.

Suicide Prevention

A sharp increase in suicide rate was found among the group aged 75 or over. Males aged 75 or above (especially those who are never married), suffering from chronic illnesses and/ or mental illnesses like depression are some of the risk factors for elderly suicide. As most suicide is closely related depression, prevention of suicide is by early detection and treatment of depression.

Understanding Addictive Behaviour

Addictive behaviour can be defined as behaviour that is obsessive and/or compulsive with risk of devastating consequences. Addictive behaviours such as problem gambling, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, internet addiction, compulsive shopping are as damaging as a raging storm. Some elders are highly burdened mentally and financially by family members' addictive behaviour and subsequently their well-being suffers.

Bereavement: Managing Loss and Grief

Death is probably the most difficult separation in life. And yet every one of us has to face it sooner or later. Even though our deceased loved ones are like kites that fly away from us, the strings of the kites are not broken. The connection with our loved ones will not end after their death. Through the strings of the kites, let us tell our loved ones that we are learning to adapt to the separation and coping with grief, and send our memories and blessings to them from afar.

Sleep Hygiene

Many elderly believe they have sleep problems. They worry that they are not getting enough sleep. A better understanding about sleep can help alleviate this anxiety.

Stress management for middle-aged women

Women nowadays play multiple roles, both in their career and families. According to overseas research, women between 40-60 years old are most stressful compared with other age groups. Chronic stress is not just detrimental to physical health, but can also trigger mood disorders. Early identification and management of the sources of stress together with improvement in lifestyle practices would enable middle-aged women to face the different challenges in life and avoid burn-out.

Nourishing Happiness

While we all have a longing for happiness, some people feel that it is difficult to achieve. Indeed, happiness does not just fall from the sky, but is the fruit of persistence and hard work. To nourish happiness in life, not only should we seek to enjoy pleasant day-to-day experiences, but also to cultivate a sense of contentedness, and to find meaning in living up to our values.

Pre-crisis Psychological Management: Building Resilience

Learn how to handle life challenges ahead of time. With preparation, you may even be able to turn crises into opportunities to grow and thrive. Just as you would workout physically to boost your immune system, you also need to strengthen your mental fitness in order to build up resilience and be able to cope with life adversities.