Have you ever gotten out of bed and figured, “It’s probably going to be one of those days!” Perhaps your alarm didn’t go off, the hot water heater decided to quit working, and the dog chewed up one of your favorite shoes overnight. Then consider if each day were “one of those days!” For an individual living with a chronic disease (and that’s the majority of the senior population), daily struggles and challenges are often a given.
Nonetheless, there are plenty of steps that older adults can take to find and maintain a life of joy, even in the face of chronic pain or illness. For example:
- Follow passions. Finding purpose and meaning in each and every day is essential – and achievable. Many older adults find satisfaction in aiding and encouraging other people. Others thrive on being life-long learners. For some people it could mean recording the past for the following generation. Brainstorm ideas until you arrive at one that ignites passion, and then make it a reality.
- Practice a positive attitude. One good way to achieve a more positive perspective on life is through journaling. Encourage your elderly loved ones to start each day by writing a summary of everything they’re grateful for that morning, including the seemingly ordinary: the smell of fresh coffee brewing, a pet curled up in a sunbeam, a planned lunch date with a friend. At the end of each week, sit together and read back through the earlier entries for a quick and practical pick-me-up.
- Refrain from negativity. Including a measure of positivity as outlined above can naturally bring about less negativity, but there are additional steps which can be undertaken as well. For example, allow for breaks from activities that induce irritation, allowing needed time to de-stress. Put the emphasis on dealing with tasks that may be accomplished successfully, and find an alternative solution for those that are too challenging, such as delegating those tasks to another member of the family or a friend, or employing the services of an expert.
- Leave the house. Keeping as active a lifestyle as possible outside the home can be so energizing for seniors. Help your elderly loved ones go out for hair appointments, shopping adventures, visits with relatives, and other fun outings, as much as they are comfortable. Even simply stepping outside and relaxing on the front porch when weather permits can significantly elevate someone’s state of mind and outlook.
At Amy’s Helping Hands, the Windsor and Essex in-home care leaders, it’s our goal to help older adults achieve the greatest possible quality of life without exception. Our professionally trained and experienced caregivers provide pleasant companionship, interesting activities, transportation, and more. Contact us online or call 519.915.4370 and find out the difference our in-home care services can make for your loved one and to set up an in-home assessment!