Self-Improvement Month: Five ways to improve an aging loved one’s quality of life

September is Self-Improvement Month, and it is a time to remind ourselves and our loved ones that we all need to improve and care for ourselves. A positive view of life can help alleviate some of the medical issues that an older adult may face such as cognitive decline, stress, loss of appetite, and energy.

It’s important to have a good quality of life, especially for older adults who are dealing with chronic health conditions and major life changes. You can take several ways to improve aging loved ones’ quality of life. The Centers for Disease Control says the quality of life can be defined differently by different groups, individuals, and situations. “Quality of life” is multidimensional and encompasses positive and negative features of life. It can apply to anything that provides positive benefits to someone’s life whether it’s physical, mental, emotional, financial, or even spiritual. It encompasses:

  • life satisfaction, which is subjective and can fluctuate.
  • multi-dimensional factors that include everything from physical health, psychological state, level of independence, family, education, wealth, religious beliefs, local services, employment, etc.
  • cultural perspectives, values, personal expectations, and goals of what we want from life.
  • our interpretation of facts and events

Maintaining a high standard of quality of life requires effort and planning. You want your loved ones to continue to live comfortably as well as experience joy and happiness in their life.  We would like to share 5 simple ways you can help a loved one improve their quality of life:

  • Hire quality in-home care services
    • Before you begin, make sure your elderly loved one gets the care they need to live safely at home if they do not already have a family member or a qualified professional caring for them. LifeWorx offers a variety of elderly home care services to provide seniors with the care that covers their specific needs. A caregiver can be hired on either a part-time or full-time basis depending on your loved one’s care needs.
  • Maintain communication
    • It’s important for seniors to maintain communication with their families and friends as it will help combat any feelings of loneliness or depression they may experience. Make time to regularly keep in touch with your loved ones. If you’re able to visit and spend time with them. If not, today’s technology makes it easy to communicate with others regardless of the physical distance between people.
  • Engage in mental and physical health activities
    • Seniors need to continue to engage in mental and physical exercise to maintain their health and prevent health problems. Exercising our minds and our bodies are important. Try to encourage some regular activities such as walking, physical therapy exercises, and clapping hands to music can stimulate blood flow, and relieve stress and anxiety. Everyone needs mental stimulation especially seniors. They need this type of activity to retain or improve cognitive function and, also to gain or maintain an overall sense of well-being.
  • Help them feel useful and needed
    • When you’re caring for an older adult, do your best to make them feel like you still need their help and that they’re not a burden. Asking for help with tasks they can handle, include but not are limited to:
      • Folding laundry
      • Opening the mail
      • Preparing for dinner – for example, trimming vegetables
      • Writing grocery or household to-do-lists
      • Going with you to help shop for groceries or run other errands
    • Have seniors engage in their interests
      • Doing things that make them happy is a great way to improve elderly individuals’ quality of life. So, encourage, your elderly loved ones to engage in their interests and participate in their hobbies. This can allow you to connect with others who enjoy the same activity or provide joy in those moments alone. Here is a list of some great hobbies to explore:
        • Painting
        • Writing
        • Fitness (walking, sports, etc.)
        • Reading
        • Puzzles

The true key to maintaining a good quality of life as you age is to embrace it, maintain a positive view, and stay as active as you can. If you or your aging loved one needs in-home care, LifeWorx can help through our private home care and caregiving services. Our caregivers will not only provide elderly individuals with the senior care they need to safely live at home but also work to ensure seniors have a good quality of life.

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