April 12, 2019
Have you ever gotten out of bed and said, “It’s going to be one of those days!” Perhaps your alarm didn’t go off, the hot water heater decided to stop working, or the dog chewed up one of your favorite shoes overnight. Then imagine if every day were “one of those days!” For someone coping with a chronic disease (and that’s much of the senior population), constant struggles and challenges can be a given.
However, there are plenty of steps that seniors can take to uncover and maintain a life of happiness, even throughout the face of chronic illness. You can help your loved one find joy even while being in pain with the help of these suggestions:
- Follow passions. Discovering purpose and meaning in each day is vital – and achievable. Many seniors uncover fulfillment in aiding and encouraging other people. Others thrive on being lifelong learners. For some it may mean documenting the past for the following generation. Brainstorm ideas until you arrive at one that ignites passion, and then make it a real possibility.
- Practice a positive attitude. One easy way to accomplish an even more positive perspective on life is through journaling. Encourage your elder loved ones to start each day by writing a list of everything they are grateful for that morning, including the seemingly mundane: the smell of fresh coffee brewing, a pet curled up in a sunbeam, a planned lunch date with a friend. At the conclusion of each week, sit together and read back through the previous entries for a quick and practical pick-me-up.
- Try to avoid negativity. Adding in a measure of positivity as discussed above can naturally bring about minimized negativity, but there are further strategies that can be undertaken as well. For example, permit breaks from tasks that induce irritation, providing needed time to de-stress. Put the emphasis on tackling tasks that can be carried out successfully, and find an alternate solution for those that are too challenging, such as delegating those tasks to another family member or friend, or engaging the services of a professional.
- Get away from the house. Keeping as active a lifestyle as possible outside of the home can be energizing for seniors. Help your elderly loved ones go out for hair appointments, shopping excursions, visits with relatives, and other fun outings, as much as they are comfortable. Simply going outdoors and relaxing on the front porch when weather allows can greatly improve someone’s frame of mind and outlook.
At Continuum, a leader in St. Louis home health agencies, it is our mission to help seniors achieve the greatest possible quality of life without exception. Our professionally trained and knowledgeable caregivers provide cheerful companionship, interesting activities, transportation, and much more. Give us a call at (314) 863-9912 and learn the difference our in-home care services can make for your loved one!