The senior years are often full of stress that takes its toll on personal happiness. Whether your aging loved one has been feeling lonely lately or is worried about a health condition, there are many things that can elevate his or her mood. These seven tips are sure to get your loved one started on the path to better emotional wellness.
1. Get Involved with Family Gatherings
Your loved one may be tempted to stay home from events that draw a crowd, especially if he or she worries about germs or doesn’t like to drive long distances. However, family celebrations go a long way toward putting seniors in touch with the people who love them. Encourage your loved one to make plans to attend these special events so he or she benefits from having something to celebrate.
2. Schedule Check-In Phone Calls
Seniors who live alone need to make a concerted effort to reach out to people each day. Help your loved one create a list of friends, family members, and other people he or she wants to stay in contact with. Then add their names to a calendar so your loved one remembers to stay in touch.
It’s vital for family members who care for senior loved ones to take care of their emotional health, too. Family caregivers sometimes need a break from their caregiving responsibilities. When they need respite care, Jefferson County families can rely on professional caregivers to help their senior loved ones remain safe at home.
3. Look for a Volunteer Position
Helping others takes the mind off personal problems, and it allows seniors to develop a sense of purpose after retirement. Check your local city listings to find an in-person volunteer position that allows your loved one to utilize his or her skills. You can also find volunteer positions online, such as serving as a tutor to students.
4. Spend Time in the Sunshine
Getting outside each day clears away the doldrums. Encourage your loved one to spend at least 15 minutes in the sunshine each day to help his or her body get enough vitamin D, which is shown to have mood-boosting benefits. Your loved one can also use this time to take a walk outside or work in the garden to increase the positive effects it has on emotional health.
For seniors with mobility issues or health conditions that make it difficult to get outside on their own, a professional caregiver can be a wonderful asset. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional at-home care. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.
5. Make Long-Term Plans
There’s something about the sense of anticipation that generates a positive mindset. Look for special events in your area, such as a senior dance or a theater show, that your loved one can plan to attend several weeks in advance. Your loved one will enjoy getting ready for the special occasion, and the excitement generated by waiting will elevate his or her mood.
6. Take Care of Physical Health Issues
Untreated physical health conditions can add up to serious stress over time. For instance, waking up with chronic pain every morning can cause a senior to start his or days in a foul mood. Certain health issues such as fluctuations in blood sugar levels are also associated with poor emotional health. Make sure your loved one attends regular doctor’s appointments, and arrange for transportation as needed so he or she can quickly correct physical issues that detract from happiness.
7. Keep Learning New Things
Taking a class or researching new information alleviates the boredom that sets in when many hours are spent alone. Encourage your loved one to think of a few things he or she has always wanted to learn, then help him or her get started on a new educational adventure. Your loved one can study with other people who provide positive feedback that further boosts his or her mood.
Emotional and physical health often depend upon each other, so it’s important to care for both to boost overall wellbeing. In Jefferson County, homecare agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call Home Care Assistance at (303) 987-5992 today.