Have you ever started your day and figured, “It’s probably going to be one of those days!” Maybe your alarm didn’t go off, the hot water heater opted to stop working, and the dog chewed up one of your favorite shoes overnight. Then imagine if every day were “one of those days!” For someone living with a chronic illness (and that is much of the senior population), daily struggles and challenges may be a given.
Yet there are numerous steps that older adults can take to realize and maintain a life of joy, even throughout the face of chronic illness. For instance:
- Follow passions. Finding purpose and meaning in each day is essential – and attainable. Many older adults find happiness in assisting and supporting other people. Others thrive on being lifelong learners. For some it can mean recording the past for the following generation. Brainstorm ideas until you arrive at one that ignites passion, and then make it a reality.
- Practice positivity. One good way to produce a more positive outlook on life is through journaling. Encourage your elder family members to begin every day by writing a summary of everything they’re grateful for that morning, including the relatively ordinary: the smell of fresh coffee brewing, a dog curled up in a sunbeam, an upcoming lunch date with a relative. At the end of each week, sit together and read back through the earlier entries for a quick and practical pick-me-up.
- Avoid negativity. Adding in a measure of positivity as mentioned above can naturally lead to reduced negativity, but there are further strategies that may be taken as well. For instance, allow for breaks from activities that induce irritation, providing needed time to de-stress. Put the focus on dealing with tasks which can be accomplished successfully, and find an alternative solution for those that are too challenging, such as assigning those tasks to another family member or friend, or engaging the services of a specialist.
- Get out of the house. Preserving as active a lifestyle as possible outside of the home is often so refreshing for seniors. Help your elder loved ones go out for hair appointments, shopping trips, visits with relatives, and other fun outings, as much as they are comfortable. Even simply going outdoors and relaxing on the front porch when weather allows can substantially boost someone’s frame of mind and outlook.
As the top providers of home hospice in Salt Lake City, Albuquerque and the surrounding areas, Harmony Home Health & Hospice aims to help older adults attain the best possible quality of life at all times. Our professionally trained and knowledgeable care team offers a wide variety of customized home health care solutions to ensure your loved one is safe, comfortable and healthy. Call us at 1-877-I-NEED-CARE (1-877-463-3322) and discover the difference our in-home health care services can make for your loved one!