The role of a caregiver to the elderly is not an easy one. Even when the elderly individual is a parent, and your efforts to keep them safe and healthy are motivated by love, you undoubtedly still have tough daily tasks to handle. We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again – we tip our hats to the caregivers who exist all over this great country of ours. They are to be commended for their selflessness and generosity.
With that said, no caregiver is perfect. They all have their challenges. And often they come by way of having to contend with both the physical and mental health of their care recipients. Sometimes, it isn’t easy to be at your best when your elderly loved ones appear to be less coherent than they once were. Our tip for caregivers is to remember the following:
A declining mental state is often caused by inactivity as opposed to aging.
Australia’s Better Health Channel certainly thinks so. “Growing older does not mean that your mental abilities will necessarily be reduced,” says their website, “There’s a lot you can do to keep your mind sharp and alert. Researchers believe that many of the supposed age-related changes that affect the mind, such as memory loss, are actually lifestyle related. Just as muscles get flabby from sitting around and doing nothing, so does the brain.”
So what can be done to prevent our brains from becoming “flabby”?
It’s highly suggested that you keep conversations going. In other words, as a caregiver, it isn’t just your job to help your care recipients to manage their physical needs. It’s important to tend to their emotional states as well. Seniors are, of course, people. They have thoughts and emotions that they may wish to share. But, for many, if they aren’t asked, they won’t tell. To help keep the minds of your elderly loved ones sharp, be sure to spend time talking with them about their lives.
Take trips down memory lane.
“Not only do the elderly enjoy a stroll down memory lane, their stories can be fascinating,” says Renee Marcus of New England Geriatrics, “It’s one thing to read about the great depression or a war, but it’s an entirely different experience to hear about it first-hand. Not only will the caregiver learn something, but the elderly person will be using their memory skills, which will help keep their minds active.”
Utilize the universal language: music!
Even if your elderly loved one is having issues with his/her hearing, it doesn’t mean that his/her love for music has disappeared. Marcus also recommends playing music when caring for the senior in your life as it will help to improve their moods. “If you play songs that remind them of their youth, not only will you make them happy, but you are likely to jar their memory and before long they may be singing along!” she writes.
At Advantage Home Health Solutions, we are strong proponents for the good health and happiness of Canada’s elderly. To do our part, we offer a wide variety of mobility solutions that have proven to keep those who have mobility issues safe from harm while restoring their states of independence. They include walkers, rollators, wheelchairs and scooters.
For more information about the mobility solutions offered by Advantage Home Health Solutions, 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!