Growing old can be difficult to accept and adjust to in many ways, and those who move into an assisted living situation may be at a higher risk of depression about their new living situation. With their career behind them and their family living their own lives, a daily sense of purpose can be elusive. Studies show that many older Americans lose the positive outlook on life that they once had. If you notice your parent is not their usual cheerful self that you remember from years past, you can take concrete steps to help put purpose back in their life and keep them motivated to face every day with joy and integrity.
Getting a Pet – Introducing a cat or dog into your parent’s life can bring immeasurable joy and companionship. Pets can reduce loneliness and offer the unconditional love that might be missing from your parent’s life, especially if you and other family members can not visit as often as you would like. Not everyone is cut out for pet ownership, and certain individuals might not have the necessary cognitive abilities to care for a pet properly. Still, many adults with a history of pet ownership are much happier when provided another opportunity to care for and provide for a cute fuzzy companion.
Exercising, Eating Well, and Focusing on Health – Physical well-being is crucial for a fulfilling life at any age. Regular physical activity paired with a diet rich in vitamins and minerals promotes better physical health and improves mood and mental well-being. After a long life of working for the betterment of family, friends, and those around them, many senior citizens can find a renewed purpose by taking care of themselves and setting their health and body as the main focus of their life. Assisted living facilities are also a fantastic place for seniors to find like-minded individuals to work toward health goals together and motivate each other when it becomes difficult to continue.
Learning About Technology – One consistent sentiment professionals hear when talking with seniors is the overwhelming feeling the world is passing them by. It can be easy to fall into despair or depression if the world you grew up in is gone and everything is new and foreign. Helping the elderly family member in your life embrace technology can not only assist them in overcoming these thoughts but also provide them with more opportunities for communication and enjoyment. Even if they don’t become a tech wizard, weekly video calls with family can help seniors stay connected to the ones that matter most.
Teaching the Next Generation – As we age, we unconsciously gain a vast knowledge of the world through various experiences and hardships. Senior citizens might feel their best years are behind them, but they can provide much to others through teaching and stories. Giving your senior loved one an outlet to talk about their lives allows them to relive “glory days” and remember who they are, reaffirming their identity and place in the world. Younger children might not initially jump at the chance to listen to their grandparent’s stories. However, once they get in front of them and start paying attention, the look in their eyes is enough to tell you that the information seniors can pass on is invaluable.
Introducing daily goals to your aging parent’s life is the best way to help them stay grounded and optimistic about life, no matter if these goals are personal or focused on others.
At A Banyan Residence, we are dedicated to improving each resident’s overall health, wellness, and quality of life. To learn more, schedule a tour of our Venice facility today.