Humans, by nature, are dependent on each other for carrying out various activities. As we age, the level of dependence on those around us increases astronomically. However, research has shown that living a healthy life can protect seniors from suffering from depression and other health issues relating to ageing. You can come up with creative ways to improve their physical health.
As a family caregiver, here are some simple ways to enhance the physical and emotional well-being of seniors.
Ensure seniors enjoy some level of independence
The fact they are seniors does not imply you take away their ability to make choices. On the contrary, giving seniors some level of independence can improve their physical well-being, emotions and prevent them from slipping into depression. To promote senior independence, family caregivers must give them the space they need and ensure they allow seniors to make certain decisions without interference, except when the decision is not right. For instance, if there is a medical report that some foods or drinks should be prohibited due to health concerns, you can caution them on the implication of their decisions.
Furthermore, allowing seniors to make decisions will improve their self-confidence, boost their emotions, and enhance their physical well-being.
Adopt technology as a means of communication
To enhance the physical and emotional well-being of seniors, caregivers should maintain consistent communication with them. With technology, communication has become easy, and there are different media like Omcare that you can adapt to interact with your aged loved ones. For example, you can teach them how to use social media to send you electronic mail, phone call, video call, photos, greeting cards, amongst other things that can be used to start a conversation.
Using modern means to communicate with seniors enhances their ability to feel like a part of the larger society. It also increases their level of engagement, self-esteem and gives them a sense of accomplishment.
Asking seniors to do things against their wishes can lower their level of self-esteem. So, instead of making them sit idly and do nothing, you can suggest they volunteer for a cause they are passionate about. When seniors are engaged, they put in all their efforts into whatever they do because, at that stage, they crave anything that can improve their self-worth. However, you must ensure you only suggest a cause that is within their area of interest.
In addition, you could suggest that seniors help others going through a difficult time with their wealth of experience. This will improve their emotional well-being and provide a sense of self-accomplishment.
Incorporate physical activity
There are different physical activities caregivers can introduce to seniors to boost their emotional and physical capacity. For example, engage them in activities such as yoga, water, aerobics, dancing and ask them to take a walk frequently. This can help them to maintain a clear mind and reduce stress.
If your loved one is recovering from an injury, physical activities can aid their recovery process and improve their overall well-being. Also, engaging in physical activities is a means of helping seniors maintain their weight and prevent putting on weight.
Encourage them to spend time with friends and grandchildren
Spending time with friends and grandchildren can contribute positively to aged people’s overall health. By spending time with friends, seniors can socialize with people who share the same mindset and opinion on matters of interest. Also, spending time with grandchildren can motivate seniors to share their experiences, nurture, enjoy life, and manage stress. However, it is advisable caregivers observe the senior’s mood and if they are enjoying the visit.
Get them a pet
There are periods when you will be away as a caregiver, even though it is for a short while. To keep your aged loved ones busy, try getting them a pet. It could be a dog or cat. However, before buying a pet, make sure you ask them their favourite pet. Having a pet makes seniors more socially engaged, less depressed, and agitated. If the senior loves dogs, they can always go for walks regularly, keeping both participants active. Seniors need as much physical activity as they can get to keep their bodies from breaking down.
As a caregiver, you must understand how fragile seniors can be, so you have to check on them frequently. You can reduce their exposure to age-related sickness by paying attention to their diet and ensuring they engage in activities that can improve their overall emotional capacity and physical health.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the founder of Psychreg.
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