Have you ever gotten out of bed and figured, “It’s definitely going to be one of those days!” Maybe your alarm didn’t go off, the hot water heater opted to quit working, plus the dog chewed up one of your favorite shoes overnight. Now picture if every day were “one of those days!” for someone living with a chronic disease (and that’s the majority of the senior population). Constant struggles and challenges can be a given.
Nonetheless, there are steps that older adults can take to realize and maintain a life of joy, even in the face of chronic disease. For instance:
- Follow passions. Discovering purpose and meaning in each day is crucial – and achievable. Many older adults discover gratification in helping and supporting other people. Others thrive on being lifelong learners. For some people it could 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 a positive attitude. One smart way to realize an even more positive perspective on life is by journaling. Encourage your elderly family members to start each day by developing a list of everything they are thankful for that morning, along with the seemingly mundane: the smell of fresh coffee brewing, a dog curled up in a sunbeam, a scheduled lunch date with a friend. At the end of every week, sit together and read back through the prior entries for a quick and effective pick-me-up.
- Avoid negativity. Adding in a measure of positivity as mentioned above can naturally lead to decreased negativity, but there are additional strategies that may be followed as well. For instance, provide for breaks from tasks that create irritation, allowing needed time to de-stress. Place the focus on tackling tasks which can be carried out successfully, and find an alternative solution for those that are much too challenging, such as delegating those tasks to another member of the family or friend, or employing the services of a professional.
- Leave the house. Maintaining as active a lifestyle as possible outside the home is often refreshing for older adults. Help your elder loved ones go out for hair appointments, shopping trips, and visits with close friends, along with other fun outings, as much as they are able. Even simply stepping outdoors and relaxing on the front porch when weather permits can greatly boost someone’s frame of mind and outlook.
At Effraim Home Care, the Lehigh County elderly care experts, it’s our goal to help seniors attain the highest possible quality of life without exception. Our well trained and experienced caregivers provide pleasant companionship, stimulating activities, transportation, and so much more. Contact us online or at (215) 826-7422 to see if our services are available in your area, and to find out the difference our in-home care services can make for a senior living with a chronic disease.