Emotional health is just as important as physical health for seniors. Yet there’s often more of an emphasis on physical needs rather than emotional ones when providing care. But overlooking emotional concerns can have a negative effect on overall health and wellbeing. Below, you’ll find five ways you can meet your senior loved one’s emotional needs as you tend to his or her other care needs.
1. Make Them Feel Safer
Seniors sometimes develop a fear of falling or having a medical emergency when nobody is around to help. These are concerns that can contribute to stress and anxiety and a general sense of uneasiness. Emotional needs of this nature can often be addressed with practical solutions. For instance, you should regularly check your loved one’s home for fall hazards. Discuss making modifications to the home (such as adding ramps), and talk to your parent about using a medical alert device to allow access to assistance 24/7 and when you’re not immediately available.
2. Look for Signs of Depression
While depression is common in older adults, it’s not a normal part of aging. When interacting with your loved one, look for signs he or she may be depressed. Physical and emotional symptoms associated with depression in the elderly include:
• Lack of interest in favorite activities
• Sleeping more or less
• Increased aches and pains without clear physical causes
• Digestive issues
• Feelings of panic or nervousness
• Mood shifts
Professional caregivers can help older adults make healthy lifestyle choices that can stave off conditions such as anxiety and depression. If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and are looking for professional elderly home care, Carmichael Home Care Assistance should be your top choice. Our dedicated and compassionate caregivers are committed to helping older adults manage their health and enjoy a higher quality of life in the golden years.
3. Focus on Quality Time
It’s surprisingly easy to slip into a routine and simply cross things off your daily caregiving to-do list. However, seniors are less likely to feel an emotional void if their interactions with others are meaningful. Maintain an emotional connection with your loved one by doing things together that can be good for his or her mental health. You might do this by going through family photo albums, playing fun games, reading stories out loud, cooking and baking together, sharing family stories, or simply sitting with your loved one and holding his or her hand.
For families living in Carmichael, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.
4. Create a Sense of Purpose
Purpose has been linked to a higher quality of life for older adults. However, seniors sometimes feel they have no clear purpose if they’re having difficulty adjusting to retirement or developing new physical limitations. If this is an emotional need your loved one has, a sense of purpose can be created by:
• Developing a daily routine
• Exploring new hobbies and interests
• Joining groups with other seniors
• Volunteering or getting active with local charities
5. Respect Privacy
Mental and emotional wellbeing can be affected if seniors no longer feel their privacy is being respected. While you still want to make sure your loved one gets the help he or she needs with dressing, bathing, and other daily tasks, it’s just as important to find ways to respect his or her privacy when providing care. Privacy can also be maintained by doing things like knocking before entering the bedroom and giving your loved one time to relax with minimal supervision when it’s safe to do so.
Older adults need to prioritize their emotional wellbeing to maintain a high quality of life as they age. Senior care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (916) 485-4663 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.