They say there is always something to be thankful for, and this time of the year, more than any other, drives home the need for us to convey our gratitude. Nevertheless, for older adults, for many different reasons, it can be hard to find and focus on feelings of gratitude in the course of the difficulties of aging, such as chronic health conditions, mobility issues, cognitive concerns, lost loved ones, and much more.
It’s important for us to help our older family members who may feel anything but thankful to adjust their focus to appreciation, as research has shown the following advantages of gratitude on senior health:
- Improved physical and mental health
- Better senior sleep habits
- Strengthened relationships
- Decreased senior aggression
- A boost in self-esteem
- Increased resilience and mental strength
- And many others
These suggestions can promote a brighter outlook – for the older adults you adore, along with yourself:
- Thankful breathing. Settle into a peaceful, relaxing location, close your eyes, and take ten deep, cleansing breaths. While you exhale each breath, think to yourself a simple phrase of gratitude, such as “thank you.” This technique helps reduce heart rate and blood pressure levels, soothing both body and mind.
- Journaling. Every day, choose 3 things – even the smallest of things – for which you are thankful, and document them in a diary or journal. It could be as basic as a hot cup of coffee, a call from a good friend, and the soft rainfall. Read back through your entries on a routine basis.
- Look for surprises. Seek out things in your immediate environment that maybe you had not noticed before, or that you are seeing for the very first time in a new way. Has a different kind of bird started to come to your bird feeder? Are you able to pick out a beloved childhood toy in the background of a family photo?
- Engaging sensory input. Find a focal point that engages each of your senses, and take the time to appreciate each one of these. Move outside to feel and smell the new, brisk air of fall. Savor a bite of hot apple pie. Look at the morning sunrise. Switch on a favorite song (and sing along!)
Home With You Senior Care, Highland adult day care and home care provider for the surrounding areas, is always on hand to help brighten each day for seniors and to provide lots of reasons for thankfulness! Our fully trained and experienced caregivers make the perfect companion to engage in interesting activities, discussions, and excursions, and are available to assist with an array of in-home care services such as preparing delicious meals, ensuring the home is neat and well organized, running errands, assisting with personal care needs, and more. Contact us at 410-756-0959 for a free in-home consultation and for further resources that can help improve wellbeing for a senior you love.