People say there’s always something to be thankful for, and this time of year, more than any other, emphasizes the desire for us to express our heartfelt gratitude. Nonetheless, for older adults, for a number of reasons, it may be hard to find and concentrate on the positives in the course of the difficulties of aging, such as chronic health conditions, mobility issues, cognitive concerns, lost loved ones, and so much more.
It is important for us to help our older loved ones, who may feel anything but thankful, shift their focus toward appreciation, as studies have shown the following senior health advantages of gratitude:
- Improved physical and psychological health
- Improved sleeping habits
- Strengthened relationships
- Decreased aggression
- A boost in self-esteem
- Increased resilience and mental strength
- And many others
These strategies can promote a better outlook – for the older adults you love, as well as yourself:
- Thankful breathing. Settle into a peaceful, comfortable location, close your eyes, and take 10 deep, cleansing breaths. While you exhale each breath, think to yourself a simple phrase of gratitude, such as “thank you.” This technique helps reduce heart rate and blood pressure levels, relaxing both body and mind.
- Journaling. On a daily basis, look for 3 things – even the smallest of things – for which you’re thankful, and write them in a diary or journal. It can be as simple as a hot cup of tea, a call from a good friend, and the soft rainfall. Read back through your entries on a regular basis.
- Finding surprises. Search for things in your immediate environment that perhaps you hadn’t observed before, or that you are seeing the very first time in an alternative way. Has a new variety of bird come to frequent your bird feeder this morning? Is it possible to pick out a beloved childhood toy in the background of a family photo?
- Engaging sensory input. Find a focal point that engages each one of your senses, and take the time to appreciate them all. Step outside to feel and smell the brisk air of fall. Savor a bite of hot apple pie. Gaze at the morning sunrise. Switch on a well-liked song (and sing along!)
At-Home Care Company, the home health care Des Moines families trust, is always on hand to help brighten each and every day for seniors and to provide a lot of reasons for thankfulness! Our fully trained and experienced caregivers make the perfect companion to take part in enjoyable activities, discussions, and excursions, and they are here to assist with a wide range of in-home care services including preparing healthy meals, making certain the house is neat and well organized, running errands, assisting with personal care needs, and more. Contact us at (515) 292-2650 or (515) 963-4410 for a complimentary in-home consultation and for additional resources that can help improve wellbeing for a cherished older adult.