People say there’s always something to be grateful for, and this time of the year, more than any other, emphasizes the desire for us to state our gratitude. Nevertheless, for senior loved ones, it may be challenging to have an attitude of gratitude and concentrate on the positives in the midst of the challenges of aging, such as chronic health conditions, mobility issues, cognitive concerns, lost loved ones, and much more.
It is necessary for us to help our older loved ones who may feel anything but thankful to shift their focus to appreciation, as research indicates the following senior health benefits associated with thankfulness:
- Increased physical and mental health
- Better senior sleeping habits
- Strengthened relationships
- Reduced aggression
- A boost in self-esteem
- Greater resilience and mental strength
- And many others
These guidelines can foster a better outlook – for the older adults you love, in addition to yourself:
- Thankful breathing. Settle into a quiet, relaxing 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, choose three things – even the tiniest of things – for which you are thankful, and document them in a diary or journal. It can be as basic as a hot cup of coffee, a call from a good friend, and the soft rainfall. Read back through your entries on a regular basis.
- Look for surprises. Search for things in your surrounding environment that maybe you had not noticed before, or that you are seeing for the first time in a different way. Has a unique type of bird started to visit your bird feeder this morning? Can you pick out a favorite childhood toy in the background of a family photo?
- Engaging sensory input. Find a focal point that engages your senses, and take time to appreciate each one. Walk outside to experience and smell the fresh, brisk air of fall. Savor a bite of hot apple pie. Look at the morning sunrise. Turn on a favorite song (and sing along!)
Absolute Companion Care, the home health care Baltimore families trust, is always available to brighten each day for seniors and to provide lots of reasons for gratitude! Our professionally trained and experienced caregivers make the perfect companion to take part in interesting activities, discussions, and excursions, and they are open to help with a wide array of in-home care services, such as planning and preparing delicious meals, making certain the home is neat and well organized, running errands, helping with personal care needs, and so much more. Give us a call at 410-357-9640 for a free of charge in-home consultation and for further resources that can help improve total wellbeing for a senior you love.