The older we get, the less confident we are. Staying confident is an important aspect of taking care of our mental health. For this reason, we should look after the mental and emotional well-being of our elderly loved ones.
Engaging in activities that help boost their self-esteem can help stave off certain health risks.
1. Give them reading materials they like
Just because their bodies have become weaker doesn’t mean their minds aren’t sharp. Reading books and materials that add to their knowledge, pique their curiosity, or tickle their fancy help make seniors happier and mentally sharp. Give them books that you think they would enjoy reading. Novels and self-help books are usually at the top of the list but if you’re unsure about what they want to read, just go ahead and ask them.
2. Encourage them to volunteer
Volunteering is an empowering thing. Helping others will never go out of style. One of the things that make seniors lose confidence in themselves is they feel they have already outlived their usefulness.
Getting them involved in helping people or organizations out regularly is a great way to boost the way they feel about themselves. Ask them to help oversee a neighbor’s vinyl fence installation or serve in the community soup kitchen.
3. Cook and prep healthier meals
The older we get, the more conscious we are about our health and the food we eat. Older adults are extra cautious when it comes to food consumption, which is why preparing healthy meals for their loved ones makes them feel good about themselves. They don’t only feel like they contribute to the household, they also feel like the parents they are to us, making sure we eat healthily by preparing food that benefits us.
Take it a notch higher and join them in the kitchen as they whip up a feast for the family. It will make their day a lot brighter.
4. Reflection and meditation
Spending some quiet time to ponder, reflect, and meditate can do wonders for a person’s mental health and self-confidence. It lessens the amount of stress a person carries and gives them a feeling of inner peace and calmness. Seniors who engage in these types of activities get to enjoy the mental health benefits of these exercises.
5. Get them to show you their moves
Speaking of exercise, a great way to feel good is to get the body moving. Exercise is known to release endorphins, or happy hormones, that boost one’s mood and greatly improves a person’s disposition. One of the best and most fun ways to get exercise is to dance. You can accompany them to dance lessons for adults or have an instructor come by regularly or just crank up the volume and let them bust a move.
6. Give them enough time for social interaction
Growing old can get lonely sometimes, especially when you’re already retired and don’t have much to do at home. After decades of getting used to being surrounded by people at work, retirement can be overwhelming because of the changes that take place. Giving elders regular time to socialize and connect with other people can help invigorate and energize them.
7. Reminisce about the good old days with them
Sometimes, just spending time with them and taking random trips down memory lane can bring the spark back in their eyes. Sit down with them and ask questions about their life, their youth, their jobs, and other things in their life that mean so much to them. It may get melancholic at times but mostly, they have fun and funny stories to tell.
Taking care of older adults goes beyond just giving them physical assistance. It’s important that we also take time to look after their mental and emotional well-being. Getting them involved in activities that make them feel good about themselves can help keep sadness and depression at bay.