Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh surveyed more than 3,000 seniors. They discovered that, for the most part, older adults today are happier than what was common in previous generations. While this is certainly good news, seniors still face some challenges that can make it difficult to see the sunny side of things. If you have an older adult in your life, let him or her know about these seven ways to stay as positive as possible while aging.
1. Find Acceptable Alternatives to Physically Demanding Activities
Older adults sometimes become depressed or frustrated over not being able to safely do more physically demanding activities they once enjoyed. Fortunately, it’s often possible to find acceptable alternatives. For instance, water tubing allows for more stability than water skiing. Many land-based activities can also be less physically taxing for seniors in a heated indoor pool.
2. Defy Negative Stereotypes
Long-standing misconceptions about aging can affect seniors’ attitudes about life. Help your loved one stay positive by reminding him or her there’s no age limit when it comes to learning and trying new things. On a related note, let your loved one know he or she shouldn’t be self-conscious about age-related limitations he or she has no control over.
3. Connect with Younger Generations
A great way for older adults to stay positive is to find ways to connect with younger people. This can be done by interacting more with grandchildren or signing up for local tutoring or mentoring programs offered by schools, churches, and community groups. The connections formed by the mixing of generations can be beneficial for everyone involved.
4. Stay Socially Connected
Another simple and effective way for seniors to stay positive is by maintaining connections with friends and loved ones. Engagement of this nature can involve:
• Social media messages, phone calls, emails, and other remote forms of communication
• Senior-friendly group activities
• Volunteering or participating in local charities
• Outings and day trips specifically for older adults
For families living in Portland, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.
Whether it involves walking, water aerobics, biking, or yoga, exercise is a great mood booster for seniors. The reason is because exercise increases the production of chemicals known as endorphins that naturally elevate mood and ease pain.
Homecare professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.
6. Create a Senior-Friendly Home
A common fear seniors have that can affect the ability to stay positive is not being able to age in place at home. If your loved one has this fear, help him or her determine what type of modifications can be made to the home to make it safer and more accessible. Steps taken may include adding ramps or installing a stair lift.
7. Address Physical & Mental Health Concerns
Even generally positive older adults may become concerned when living with chronic pain or memory lapses. If your loved one has these issues, encourage open, honest discussions with doctors and other specialists. Oftentimes, there are ways to address chronic pain, handle physical limitations, and sharpen cognitive abilities affected by age. It’s equally important for seniors to discuss issues causing them excess stress or anxiety.
Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior care. Portland families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. If you need professional home care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (207) 835-4849.