They say there’s always something to be grateful for, and this time of the year, more than any other, emphasizes the need for us to convey our gratitude. Yet for senior loved ones, for many different reasons, it may be hard to find and focus on the positives in the middle of the challenges of aging, such as chronic medical 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 to adjust their focus to appreciation, as research indicates the following senior health benefits of gratitude:
- Increased physical and mental health
- Better senior sleep habits
- Strengthened relationships
- Decreased aggression
- A boost in self-esteem
- Superior resilience and mental strength
- And many others
These suggestions can promote a happier outlook – for the older adults you love, along with yourself:
- Thankful breathing. Settle into a quiet, relaxing location, close your eyes, and take ten deep, cleansing breaths. While you exhale each breath, think to yourself an uncomplicated phrase of gratitude, such as “thank you.” This technique helps reduce heart rate and blood pressure, relaxing both mind and body.
- Journaling. Every day choose 3 things – even the tiniest of things – for which you’re thankful, and document them in a diary or journal. It could be as basic as a hot cup of tea, a call from a relative, and the soft rainfall. Read back through your entries on a routine basis.
- Looking for surprises. Seek out something in your immediate environment that perhaps you had not observed before, or that you’re seeing for the very first time in a different way. Has a new variety of bird started to visit your bird feeder today? Can you pick out a beloved childhood toy within the background of a family photo?
- Engaging sensory input. Find a focal point that engages all of your senses and take the time to appreciate each one. Step outside to feel and smell the new, brisk air of fall. Relish a bite of warm apple pie. Look at the morning sunrise. Turn on a favorite song (and sing along!)
Live Free Home Health Care, providers of top-rated Belmont memory care, is always readily available to brighten each and every day for seniors and to provide a number of reasons for thankfulness! Our professionally trained and experienced caregivers make the perfect companion to engage in enjoyable activities, conversations, and outings, and are also available to help with a wide range of in-home care services such as planning and preparing delicious meals, ensuring the house is neat and well organized, running errands, assisting with personal care needs, and more. Give us a call at 603-217-0149 for a complimentary in-home consultation or for further resources to improve wellbeing for an older adult you love.