Let’s adjust to change

Date: 3 July 2006

Old age is another phase in the journey of life. Life for the elderly can be filled with positive and meaningful experiences.

Let’s adjust to:-

Feeling of loneliness, isolation and abandonment arising from:-

  • Loss of your spouse
  • Loss of your friends
  • Children leaving home
  • Loss of independence due to immobility

Financial difficulties arising from:-

  • Loss of income following retirement
  • Increasing expenditure due to cost of medication and aids/equipment

Changes to your body:-

  • Movement and reaction time slow down
  • Failing memory
  • Stiffening joints and weakened muscles
  • Eyesight and hearing become poorer
  • Changes in sleep pattern

Early warning signs that show you are not adjusting well:-

  • Losing your temper easily
  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Getting worried easily
  • Persistent feeling of sadness
  • Difficulty in coping with everyday activities
  • Forgetfulness
  • Changes in sleeping patterns
  • Changes in eating habits

Suggestions for good mental health

Talk to someone when you have problems

  • Sharing your problems helps you to cope better

Make friends

  • Meet up with old friends
  • Get involved in activities, societies or hobby clubs

Keep yourself occupied

  • Reading
  • Share interests with neighbours, relatives, family and friends.

Keep your body healthy

  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat healthily
  • Drink plenty of water

Do things with your family Maintain a good family relationship

  • Go for walks, meals, movies
  • Share your hobbies
  • Discuss issues

Be realistic about changes in:

  • Physical abilities e.g. strength
  • Memory
  • Concentration

Be aware of your rights as they may make life easier

  • Senior citizens discounts
  • Healthcare
  • Financial assistance
  • Welfare aid

Talking to someone helps your mental health

Source: A Public Health Education Information from the Ministry of Health Malaysia