Throughout life, people are encouraged to maintain their self-esteem. It’s important, not just to ward off sadness or depression, but also to cope with day-to-day life. As any human being knows, this isn’t always the easiest task to accomplish. There are bad days and there are good days. Seniors can find themselves overwhelmed, feeling that there is more bad than good in life; health is failing, bodies are weaker, loved ones and friends have passed away. Seniors and their caregivers, whether family members or skilled professionals, can find ways to maintain positive self-esteem, regardless of the circumstances.
The thing about happiness is that it has a snowball effect. If a senior is happy, their caregivers are happy, and so is the family. Elderly people are particularly vulnerable to being unhappy in their later years as they feel their independence beginning to slip away. The prospect of someone coming into their home on a regular basis to help with basic tasks can impact self-esteem. The mention of moving to a more supportive environment can be devastating. With difficult transitions such as these, caregiver need to be ready to help boost a senior’s self-esteem in a variety of ways.
An important factor to always consider is the senior’s own opinion. No one likes to have decisions made for them. Seniors may be advanced in years but if they have clear cognition, it is important to discuss options with them before any decisions are made. As with people of any age, when seniors are engaged in the decision making, they feel empowered as part of the solution.
When assisting a senior at home, it helps to give them tasks to complete. People like to feel useful. These tasks don’t have to be time consuming, or complex, but can be as simple as folding the laundry.
Regardless of a person’s age, strong and loving relationships are important to self-esteem. Seniors who feel a strong show of support from their family and caregivers may find it easier to maintain overall happiness. When a person shows sincere interest in them, a senior feels that they matter and that feeds self-esteem.
Everyone likes to look at old photos and tell the stories associated with them. Reminiscing with seniors in this way can take their minds out of the here-and-now, away from stresses and pains.
Taking part in a senior’s favorite hobbies is another way to show interest and support. Setting up activities around these hobbies will brighten any senior’s day.
Changes to eyesight, weakened bones, loss of loved ones…the list goes on. There are many stresses and pressures faced by seniors. Any one of these issues can impact self-esteem. Spending time with seniors and exhibiting honest interest in their lives will tell seniors that they are loved. More than ever, during the holiday season, let’s make sure our seniors are as happy as can be.