It is certainly not uncommon for older adults to contend with physical ailments. With mobility issues inhibiting their independence, it can be very taxing on their emotional states. This is why it’s so vital that caregivers pay as much attention to a senior’s mental health as his/her physical well-being. Finding ways to brighten the mood of your elderly loved one can go a long way in improving his/her overall health.
Host a dance party.
Okay, we don’t necessarily mean that you should throw a literal party to help your elderly loved one to be happy. However, it’s pretty hard to dance when you’re upset. Throw on some of your aging parent’s favourite tunes and encourage him/her to get up and dance with you. Not only will the music foster feelings of joy, but the exercise involved will work wonders for your elderly loved one’s physical health.
The “combination of light physical touch, upbeat music and a smiling caregiver can work wonders,” says Carol Bradley Bursack on AgingCare.com, “I’m not suggesting that this approach is possible in all cases, but the idea could serve as inspiration for your own version of letting loose and having fun with your loved one. Uplifting music from an era the elder enjoys along with good companionship can often bring a grumpy or withdrawn loved one out of their shell.”
Focus on mental health.
As a caregiver, you likely pay a lot of attention to the diminishing physical abilities of your elderly loved one. There’s nothing wrong with that. Helping the older adult in your life to better manage his/her mobility issues is an important way to maintain his/her health and safety. Never let it be lost on you, however, that physical disabilities induce a lot of stress for seniors. As DailyCaring.com informs us, depression late in life affects 7 million people aged 65+.
“It can be caused by stressful life events like retirement or losing a spouse,” explains the website, “It could also be caused by a medical disease or medication side effects. To improve quality of life, it’s important to recognize the signs of depression and get help from a doctor, psychologist, therapist, or counsellor.”
Engage in some brain games.
Work to improve your elderly loved one’s cognitive abilities by playing games with him/her. Put together puzzles, complete crosswords and work on word searches. Playing games with seniors helps them to feel involved and wanted. As noted, it also helps to improve brain function. Just as importantly, these activities assist in doing away with chronic boredom. Bursack highlights the fact that this is a common problem for seniors.
“A team of Canadian researchers who set out to better understand the mental processes that occur during an instance of boredom defined this state as ‘the aversive experience of wanting, but being unable, to engage in satisfying activity,’” she informs, “Older adults may struggle to cope with changes in their physical and mental abilities caused by age and illness. These changes can make it difficult or impossible for elders to fully participate in life and the activities they once enjoyed.”
Utilize a mobility device.
At Advantage Home Health Solutions, we are committed to helping seniors improve their mental health. As part of our mandate, we offer a wide range of mobility devices and home accessibility renovations that help relieve older adults of the worry of hurting themselves.
To learn more about our mobility solutions and how they can help to better the mental health of seniors, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 403-460-5438. You may also email us by filling out the form on our Contact page!