As our loved ones age, their eyes and hands often start to fail, and they may not think crafting is something they can continue to do. However, the physical benefits of crafting can compensate for the frustrations of stiff fingers or diminished vision. Continue reading
We are all aware of the truths that seem to point to loneliness and depression in Senior Citizens, and how, as family members and caregivers we should be on the lookout for indicators that our loved ones may be struggling.
However, a growing shift has made itself apparent in our time as more and more senior citizens are choosing to live their ‘golden years’ out in experiences. Happiness is more strongly associated with meaningful experiences than the accumulation of possessions. The iconic American Dream to own a home, have 2.5 children, a nice car, and a sizeable nest egg appeals for inherent reasons, but the ability to continue to make memories with either a spouse, family members, or friends is a growing trend in the lives of many seniors today.
Experiences can be as simple as taking the grandchildren to the beach, or traveling to an unexplored (for them) location. If your loved one has the ability to get out on their own, let them. Try not to be concerned about their ability to drive ‘that far’ on their own. Perhaps they want to experience something new. While the natural response is to say, not at your age, allow them the ability to do that thing, and perhaps even go with them.
One study shows that when people perceived they had less time left, they found greater happiness in ordinary experiences than younger individuals who perceived they had significant amounts of time ahead of them and who found greater happiness in the extraordinary.
The truth is, the older we get, we do gain more wisdom. We have learned that life experience gives you perspective. You know the downs don’t last, and the ups don’t last. As a result, experiences, or those things that make us happy, begin to shift also.
Encourage them to go out and live life, and perhaps any loneliness or depression you were seeing will begin to disappear. Being active at any age, and especially in seniors, is proven to have a positive effect on our mood and our health.
Let them enjoy the moment, and enjoy it with them.
What would spring be without the age-old commitment to spending more time doing new things!
Here are five spring resolutions that each senior needs to think about to kick off the fresh feeling of springtime:
Experience the web.
- Google: Find anything, anytime, anywhere. Anything! You will be a click away from knowing anything you may need to know!
- Social Media: Begin with Facebook, which will allow you to connect with locals as well as old companions across the country. Also, look in on your grandkids’ lives!
Plan for what’s to come.
- It’s never too early to plan for your life as you age. Let your family know if you are interested in finding a caregiver to help you around the house. You may also want to buy a medical alert system for when you are at home by yourself. The main goal is to make sure you and your family are prepared as you age!
Consume nutritious foods in 2014.
- Stay away from prepared food and snacks high in sugar and sodium. Your eating habits are your fuel for the day and serves to keep your mind sharp. A good plan for eating is to include nutrient rich foods such as avocado and walnuts for those “great oils” and fiber from whole grains. Make a point to eat crisp leafy foods consistently and take daily supplements and vitamins (especially Vitamin B and D) that your body needs.
Plan yearly check-ups.
- So imagine a scenario where you’re no spring chicken anymore. Age is like fine wine, yet it springs up on you quickly. Make sure to visit your doctor regularly to monitor any changes in your physical or mental ability as you age.
- Volunteering is a great way to stay active while helping others that may be less fortunate. You could also join a social club, create a bridge club, join a yoga gym or do water aerobics. The goal is to maintain an active lifestyle, which will allow you to continue living independently while enjoying your life as you age.
As we age, it’s often easier to kick back and relax, but that can have adverse effects on your health and well-being. While you may not be out jogging around the block or swimming every day, it’s crucial to long-term health to remain active and involved. Being active could be as simple as getting up and walking around inside the house if the weather doesn’t permit outside activity. You can also do gentle stretching or bending exercises during television commercials. Moving about helps address arthritic joints and also keeps the brain active.
Here are some ways to stay active and remain socially engaged:
- Share your talents. Do you have a special talent or skill you could share with others? Perhaps you’re a great woodworker or fisherman; maybe you’re well known for your knitting, crocheting or cooking skills.
- Volunteer. Homeless shelters, churches, senior centers and all sorts of organizations love volunteers. You can even offer your help at the local school as a teacher’s helper or dining room assistant. Volunteering is a great way to remain involved and offers a sense of satisfaction as you contribute to your community.
- Join a group. Loneliness can be hard to cope with. Join a book club, a senior center, a travel club or something that sounds interesting and fun. Socialization is key as you age.
- Plan a get together. Invite new and old friends over for lunch or coffee or even a game of cards. Staying active and mentally engaged with others is beneficial at any age and especially when we start to naturally slow down.
Because we are living longer, we need to take steps to make our longer lives healthy and happy and remaining active and involved are two great steps toward that goal.
The cliché of “use it or lose it” holds true when it comes to both your body and your mind. That is even more crucial in the elderly. If they keep their minds and bodies active they will age more gracefully and will be more engaged in life’s activities for much longer. An active mind and body will help them to live a more full life.
In order to stay healthy you need to keep moving. Whether your relatives move around inside or outside the house, getting in at least 15 minutes a day of activity is good, getting even more is best. If they’re able to get out and walk, it’s a great way to keep their weight in line and keep their minds active. Getting out will also give them a chance to get fresh air and keep in touch with the neighbors. Regardless of the level of activity that your senior family members are able to undertake, it’s still a fact of life that individuals over the age of 65 are more likely to suffer a trip and fall accident in the home. In the event of a fall or other health incident, if your senior is equipped with a medical alert pendant, he or she will have immediate access to a trained team that will alert medical professionals and family members offering peace of mind to all.
If you’re a caregiver or are facing the question of trying to figure out what to do with an aging parent, here are five fun activities for both mind and body:
- Read a book together or join a book club. If there’s no book club that you can find, start your own. Read the newspaper together and discuss current events.
- Walk along the beach if there is one that’s close. Walk around the neighborhood.
- Check out local senior centers or libraries to see if there are craft classes or computer classes for seniors.
- Begin your own writers group. Meet up at a local library or senior center and work on a book of memoirs. It’s a great gift to hand down to future generations.
- Consider joining a senior golf league. If your parents aren’t into golfing, consider joining or starting a gardening club. Share hints and tips about gardening and then plan a fruit and vegetable swap as the growing season gets into full swing.
Depending on the level of your elderly parent’s health, look into clubs or groups that feed into their passions whether it’s boating, scrap booking, sewing, gourmet cooking classes or even bird watching. Being involved with others offers a feeling of community and gives your parents a reason to get up in the morning and an activity that needs to be completed before the next meeting!