They say there’s always something to be grateful for, and this time of year, more than any other, emphasizes the need for us to have a heart of gratitude. Nevertheless, for senior loved ones, for many different reasons, it may be difficult to find and focus on the positives in the midst of the difficulties of aging, such as chronic health problems, mobility issues, cognitive concerns, lost loved ones, and much more.
It is essential for us to help our older family members who might feel anything but thankful to adjust their focus to appreciation, as studies have shown the following senior health benefits associated with thankfulness:
- Improved physical and psychological health
- Better sleeping habits
- Strengthened relationships
- Decreased aggression
- A boost in self-esteem
- Greater resilience and mental strength
- And numerous others
These pointers can foster a happier outlook – for the seniors you adore, as well as yourself:
- Thankful breathing. Settle into a peaceful, comfortable place, close your eyes, and take 10 deep, cleansing breaths. As 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 mind and body.
- Journaling. Every day look for three things – even the smallest of things – for which you’re grateful, and record them in a diary or journal. It could be as basic as a warm cup of tea, a call from a relative, and the soft rainfall. Read back through your entries on a frequent basis.
- Finding surprises. Seek out things in your immediate environment that perhaps you hadn’t noticed before, or that you’re seeing for the first time in a new way. Has a unique variety of bird started to visit your bird feeder this morning? Is it possible to pick out a favorite childhood toy in the background of a family photo?
- Engaging sensory input. Find a focal point that activates your senses and remember to appreciate each one. Move outside to feel and smell the new, brisk air of fall. Relish a bite of warm pecan pie. Gaze at the morning sunrise. Turn on a favorite song (and sing along!)
Inspired Home Care, the respite care Chicago leader, is always on hand to help brighten each day for the elderly and to provide numerous reasons for gratitude! Our fully trained and experienced caregivers make the perfect companion to take part in enjoyable activities, discussions, and outings, and are also open to assist with a variety of in-home care services including preparing delicious meals, ensuring your home is clean and well organized, running errands, assisting with personal care needs, and so much more. Contact us at 847-787-7572 for a free of charge in-home consultation and for further resources that can help improve quality of life for a cherished older adult.