They say there’s always something to be grateful for, and this time of the year, much more than any other, drives home the need for us to express our gratitude. Nonetheless, for senior loved ones, having an attitude of gratefulness can be difficult to find and focus on in the course of the challenges of aging, such as chronic health issues, mobility issues, cognitive concerns, lost loved ones, and so much more.
It is necessary for us to help our older loved ones who may feel anything but thankful to shift their attention to appreciation, as research indicates the following senior health benefits of gratitude:
- Increased physical and mental health
- Better sleeping habits
- Strengthened relationships
- Decreased aggression
- A boost in self-esteem
- Increased resilience and mental strength
- And numerous others
These guidelines can promote a brighter outlook – for the older adults you love, as well as yourself:
- Thankful breathing. Settle into a peaceful, comfortable place, close your eyes, and take ten deep, cleansing breaths. As you exhale each breath, think to yourself an easy phrase of gratitude, such as “thank you.” This technique helps reduce heart rate and blood pressure, soothing both mind and body.
- Journaling. Each day, choose three things – even the tiniest of things – for which you’re thankful, and document them in a diary or journal. It may be as basic as a hot cup of tea, a phone call from a good friend, and the soft rainfall. Read back through your entries on a frequent basis.
- Finding surprises. Search for something in your immediate environment that maybe you hadn’t noticed before, or that you’re seeing for the first time in a different way. Has a different type of bird started to frequent your bird feeder this morning? Can you pick out a well-liked childhood toy within the background of a family photo?
- Engaging sensory input. Find a focal point that engages your senses, and appreciate each one of these. Move outside to feel and smell the fresh, brisk air of fall. Relish a bite of warm apple pie. Look at the morning sunrise. Turn on a popular song (and sing along!)
Anthem Home Care, expert providers of dementia care Portland and the surrounding areas trust, is always readily available to help brighten each day for senior loved ones and to provide plenty of reasons for gratitude! Our highly trained and experienced caregivers make the perfect companion to take part in interesting activities, conversations, and outings, and they are here to assist with a wide array of in-home care services including planning and preparing healthy meals, making certain the home is tidy and well organized, running errands, helping with personal care needs, and more. Reach out to us at 361-643-2323 for a free of charge in-home consultation or for further resources to help improve quality of life for a senior you love.