Tips for Seniors: Embracing Life in Spite of a Chronic Disease Diagnosis
Have you ever gotten out of bed and said, “It’s probably going to be one of those days!” Perhaps your alarm didn’t go off, the hot water heater decided 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 an individual living with a chronic disease (and that’s much of the elderly population), routine struggles and challenges can be a given.
However, there are many steps that older adults can take to realize and maintain a life of joy, even in the face of chronic illness. For instance:
- Follow passions. Discovering purpose and meaning in each day is essential – and possible. Many seniors find gratification in assisting and supporting other people. Others thrive on being lifelong learners. For many it could mean documenting earlier times for the next generation. Brainstorm ideas until you arrive at one that sparks passion, and then make it a reality.
- Practice a positive attitude. One smart way to achieve a more positive take on life is through journaling. Encourage your senior family members to start every day by developing a list of everything they are grateful for that morning, even the seemingly mundane: the smell of fresh coffee brewing, a cat curled up in a sunbeam, a scheduled lunch date with a relative. At the end of each week, sit together and read back through the prior entries for a quick and practical pick-me-up.
- Try to avoid negativity. Adding in a measure of positivity as mentioned above can naturally result in reduced negativity, but there are additional strategies that may be undertaken as well. For instance, permit breaks from tasks that create frustration, allowing needed time to de-stress. Put the emphasis on tackling tasks that can be accomplished successfully, and discover an alternate 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 away from the house. Preserving as active a lifestyle as possible outside of the home is usually very energizing for older adults. Help your senior loved ones go out for hair appointments, shopping excursions, visits with close friends, and other fun outings, as much as they are comfortable. Even simply going outdoors and relaxing on the front porch when weather allows can greatly increase someone’s mood and outlook.
At Hired Hands Homecare, the home and hospice care Santa Rosa families trust, it is our aim to help older adults attain the best possible quality of life at all times. Our fully trained and experienced caregivers provide cheerful companionship, engaging activities, transportation, and more. Contact us online or give us a call at (866) 940-4343 and see the difference our in-home care services can make for your loved one!