Nursing Home Mental Health

Studies on patients recovering from heart attacks, strokes, and other physical ailments show that positive thinking in recovery is essential to positive outcomes. However, nursing home mental health is often overlooked by medical professionals and the family members of patients as they go through recovery. Family members play a crucial role in helping patients stay positive during rehabilitation, and the following tips can be used by family members to help loved ones keep a positive mindset throughout the recovery process.

Tip #1 – Help Identify Negative Thinking

To take advantage of all the benefits of positive thinking in recovery, patients need to first identify negative thinking. Examples of negative thinking include:

  • Filtering – Focusing on only the negative aspects of the situation.
  • Catastrophizing – Expecting negative outcomes and believing the outcome will result in disaster.
  • Personalizing – Taking a negative situation and acting like it’s your fault.

When your loved one displays these forms of negative thinking, stop them. Help them recognize negative thinking and work to turn their thoughts in a positive direction.

Tip #2 – Talk About Problem Solving

If your loved one is feeling defeated while going through rehabilitation, help them with problem solving. Maybe their saying “I might as well just give up.” Help them work through the problem with problem solving questions, such as “What can I do to avoid giving up?” or “What strategies can I use to make it through recovery?” When you ask questions, it activates the brain’s problem solving areas, making it easier to come up with solutions instead of falling prey to self-doubt.

Tip #3 – Teach Positive Affirmations

To foster positive thinking in recovery, teach your loved one positive affirmations to keep the mind positive throughout rehabilitation. Come up with some affirmations together that they can repeat daily. Some good affirmations include:

  • “I’m trying my best and making progress towards recovery.”
  • “I’m strong and I will work hard to recover.”

Tip #4 – Focus on Maintaining Healthy Relationships

Positive people have close, healthy relationships with others. Keep in mind, the number of friends doesn’t matter – it’s the quality of the friendships. Help your loved one stay focused on maintaining healthy relationships throughout the recovery process. Healthy relationships are essential for good nursing home mental health and for the mental health of patients in rehabilitation facilities. It’s easy to become isolated during recovery, so offer your loved one a way to stay in touch, such as a cell phone so they can text or call friends. An email account or messaging app can also help people stay in touch.

Tip #5 – Help Loved Ones Engage in Hobbies

Helping loved ones engage in goals and hobbies can give them a nice outlet for the emotions they are dealing with throughout recovery. Help them choose hobbies that bring them joy and happiness, keeping them totally in the moment. Good hobbies can help them relax and feel joyful. A hobby they enjoy also gives them something to look forward to on the tough days.

Tip #6 – Work on a Gratitude Journal

There’s always something to be thankful for, and the happiest people are those who are thankful. Going through a long recovery can be difficult and discouraging, but focusing on gratitude can help your loved one. Buy them a journal and help them start their own gratitude journal. Have them come up with a couple things each day they are thankful for and write them down in the journal. It helps focus their mind on the positive things instead of dwelling on the negative parts of rehabilitation.

Positive thinking in recovery is a powerful thing. Help your loved one stay positive throughout rehabilitation and they’ll enjoy better mental health and improved physical outcomes as well.

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