Great Ideas to Improve Your Senior Loved One’s Life
National Just Because Day is August 27th and it’s a fun opportunity to do something nice for someone else because you want to, not because there’s a special occasion. If your senior loved one is in home health care in San Francisco and elsewhere, it’s important to engage in activities that benefit their overall quality of life. And with the nice weather upon us, there’s no better time to get out and get active. Here are some ways you can improve your senior loved one’s life.
Quality of Life = Better Health and Well-Being
It isn’t enough to just be alive. Having a strong quality of life for older adults is still extremely important, even though they may suffer from major life changes and chronic health conditions. It’s just as important to feel joyous and fulfilled as it is to get regular health checks by a physician. In fact, research shows that having a positive outlook on life helps seniors feel energized and less stressed while spurring a better appetite and preventing cognitive decline, says DailyCaring.
Check out these ways you can help your older adult loved one improve their quality of life.
Keep them connected with family, friends, and the community
According to the CDC, loneliness and social isolation in older adults are actually quite serious public health risks affecting a large number of people in the United States, putting them at higher risk for dementia and other medical conditions. You can prevent that from happening by encouraging your loved one to stay connected with their community. But the second part of that is actually getting them to those events and gatherings, as many older adults may have mobility issues and may not be able to drive.
- Set up visits for family and friends to come to your loved one’s home, eat a meal with them, or take them out to an event or even for a walk.
- Bring them where they need to go, such as doctor’s appointments and the local senior center. If you can’t do it yourself, arrange transportation or hire an aid.
- Encourage your loved one to attend parties, such as birthdays, graduations, and holidays.
- Get them started with a new hobby.
- Encourage them to volunteer within the community, the church, or charity organizations.
Treat their depression
Mental Health America says that two million of the 34 million Americans over the age of 65 suffer from depression. This can be brought on by stressful events such as retirement, loss of a spouse, loss of driving ability, or chronic and life-limiting medical diagnoses. It can also be a side effect of medications. Improving your loved one’s quality of life means understanding the signs of depression and getting them help from the appropriate doctor for treatment.
Make them feel useful and needed
Everyone wants to feel needed and wanted, no matter how old you are. It’s easy as a younger person caring for an older adult to take over every aspect of their lives and do everything for them. You may feel as though you’re doing them a favor, and most times, you are. Just make sure they know you still need their help and that they haven’t become a burden to you. They may not be able to perform those tasks perfectly, but the important thing is their contribution and effort.
They can help out with these tasks, for example:
- Fold laundry
- Organize drawers
- Open the mail
- Write out grocery or to-do lists
- Clip coupons
- Stay up to date on the news
- Prep dinner (cut vegetables, set the table)
- Shop alongside you for groceries
- Run errands with you
Encourage regular physical activity
Regular physical activity balances the body and mind, creating a more positive life view. Exercise in seniors has many benefits. It:
- Improves strength
- Improves balance
- Gives you more energy
- Prevents or delays diseases like diabetes, heart disease, or osteoporosis
- Improves mood and fights off depression
- Improves cognitive function
- Improves sleep quality
- Relieves anxiety
- Improves stamina
Help them stay mentally active
Do puzzles, crosswords, and other brain games with your senior loved one. Read to them and encourage them to write in a journal, which are both excellent activities for mental stimulation. It’s no secret that a sharp, active mind boosts overall well-being.
Make upgrades to the home
Install upgrades to your senior loved one’s home to make it safer and prevent accidents. Consider upgrades such as walk-in showers and tubs, safety handles and grab bars, or stairlifts. Remove tripping hazards such as area rugs and make sure there are no obstacles in frequently-used pathways throughout the home. Improve illumination, especially in hallways and along stairs. These upgrades will improve their safety as well as their independence and quality of life.
Contact Pathways Home Health and Hospice
Contact us now at 888-978-1306 to learn more about our home health care program and how our caregivers can provide a great outlet for your senior loved one with a variety of activities.