They say there is always something to be grateful for, and this time of year, much more than any other, drives home the need for cultivating gratitude. Nevertheless, for the elderly, for a variety of reasons, it can be hard to find and concentrate on the positives in the midst of the difficulties of aging, such as chronic medical conditions, mobility issues, cognitive concerns, lost loved ones, and much more.
It is vital for us to support our older family members who may feel anything but thankful and to help them focus on appreciation, as studies have shown the following senior health benefits of thankfulness:
- Enhanced physical and psychological health
- Improved senior sleeping habits
- Strengthened relationships
- Decreased aggression
- A boost in self-esteem
- Increased resilience and mental strength
- And numerous others
These strategies can nurture a happier outlook – for the older adults you adore, as well as yourself:
- Thankful breathing. Settle into a peaceful, comfortable location, close your eyes, and take 10 deep, cleansing breaths. As you exhale each breath, think to yourself an easy phrase of gratitude, such as “thank you.” This technique helps reduce heart rate and blood pressure levels, relaxing both mind and body.
- Journaling. On a daily basis, select three things – even the tiniest of things – for which you’re grateful, and document them in a diary or journal. It could be as basic as a warm cup of coffee, a phone call from a good friend, and the soft rainfall. Read back through your entries on a regular basis.
- Finding surprises. Seek out things in your immediate environment that maybe you hadn’t noticed before, or that you’re seeing the very first time in a different way. Has a unique kind of bird started to visit your bird feeder today? Are you able to pick out a favorite childhood toy in the background of a family photo?
- Engaging sensory input. Find a focal point that activates each of your senses, and take the time to appreciate every one. Walk outside to feel and smell the fresh, brisk air of fall. Relish a bite of hot apple pie. Gaze at the morning sunrise. Switch on a popular song (and sing along!)
Enhanced Home Care, the home health care Johnson County families trust, is always on hand in order to brighten each day for senior loved ones and to provide lots of reasons for thankfulness! Our professionally trained and experienced caregivers are the perfect companion to take part in enjoyable activities, conversations, and excursions, and are available to assist with an array of in-home care services including planning and preparing healthy meals, ensuring the house is neat and well organized, running errands, helping with personal care needs, and more. Reach out to us at 913-327-0000 for a complimentary in-home consultation or for further resources to improve wellbeing for a senior loved one.