Seniors have time on their hands. They no longer go to work every day, and their children have lives of their own. Some seniors live close to loved ones and take part in regular family activities. They may even watch the grandchildren while the parents are at work. However, that isn’t the case for everyone. Seniors have love to give and may not have anyone to share this love with. They need words of encouragement as they make this transition in life.
Loneliness and Isolation
Families may feel their loved ones are in a good place because they now have free time to engage in activities they love. However, loneliness and isolation remain concerns for older individuals. The CDC reports that 20 percent of seniors today struggle with mental health concerns, including loneliness and anxiety. They may not need a memory care community at this time, but they might need help to complete daily activities.
In addition, as men get older, their risk of suicide increases. Men who reach the age of 85 have a significantly higher risk of mental health issues and suicide. Families need to take this into consideration and let their loved ones know they are appreciated. How can they do so?
Set Manageable Goals
Seniors often find it hard to do things they did easily in the past, and this can lead to discouragement. Help them set manageable goals that allow them to remain independent and feel relevant. When seniors have a goal, they have a sense of purpose that motivates them. Every goal they complete fills them with pride and allows them to feel as if they have accomplished something.
Individuals residing in senior living often have activities to choose from every day. Encourage them to take part in activities, as doing so allows them to make friends and complete tasks with the help of staff members and other residents.
Teach seniors how to use technology to their benefit. Social networks provide a great way to keep loved ones connected to friends and family members even when they don’t leave nearby. This provides them with companionship while allowing them to feel relevant in their loved ones’ lives. While this should never replace face-to-face interactions, technology allows loved ones to remain in touch when they can’t be together.
Start slowly and explain things in ways they can understand. For example, explain that a web address takes you to a certain site just as a street address takes you to a specific home or business. When doing so, tell them why the information is important and repeat important concepts. This helps them to learn the technology and use it when loved ones and staff members at their assisted living in Redlands, CA community aren’t around to help.
Make Them Feel Useful
Although a senior might not be able to cook an entire Thanksgiving dinner any longer, that doesn’t mean they can’t make their signature side dish. Allow seniors to help where they can. If they can no longer stand or walk, have them do a job while seated. When they want to do something they did in the past, ask them to help. This takes some burdens off of them while allowing them to share their knowledge with loved ones, and taking on small tasks allows them to maintain some independence and feel relevant. The companionship is a bonus.
Listen to Them
One way to encourage seniors is to listen to them. Some people find this difficult, as they have heard the same stories countless times before. However, a person should encourage the loved one to share these stories. One day they won’t be around, and these same people will wish they could hear the stories one more time.
Don’t compliment the senior unless the sentiment is genuine. They can pick up on false encouragement. In addition, take their age into consideration. Rather than telling them something, put it in a note. This tangible reminder is especially helpful for those who struggle with memory issues. The seniors can pull out the reminders when they need a few words of encouragement.
Seniors do best when their mental health remains a priority. Find ways to encourage older loved ones. Doing so doesn’t take much time but pays off in major ways. Provide this encouragement regularly and watch the loved one bloom.
About Summerfield of Redlands
At our elegantly furnished senior living community, we offer assisted living, respite care, and short-term stay apartments for seniors with specialized needs. Our team members remain on hand 24 hours a day to ensure residents have all they need promptly. Amenities allow residents to live the life they desire in Redlands, CA.