The aging population is at high risk of experiencing a range of negative emotions, including grievance, depression, stress, and anxiety. As people age, they often have to deal with the passing of family members, spouses, and close friends. Many older people also spend an inordinate amount of time alone. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to make an elderly relative feel good about themselves.
Take your older relative for a walk. Moderate exercise can promote longevity, and walking is a great, low-impact way to burn calories, promote the release of powerful mood-enhancing hormones, and encourage improvements in both balance and coordination. Time spent outdoors in a natural and peaceful setting can be incredibly uplifting.
Sign up for a class that the two of you can take together. This will ensure that the two of you routinely spend quality time together and give your family member something to look forward to. This could be a painting or photography class, water ballet instruction, or even a gentle yoga session. See what classes are available at local senior recreation centers.
Take time to listen to your loved one and ask for advice. Older people have a lot of wisdom that they have gained over the years. Unfortunately, few people take the time to capitalize on the important information they have to share. Seeking advice from an older person is a great way to make this person feel valued and appreciated.
Invite your family member over for lunch and a movie. Outings like these provide the social interaction and engagement that everyone needs. They also give people with minor mobility issues a chance to get out of the house and engage with the real world. Doing this just once or twice a month can have a significant impact on your loved one’s overall quality of life.
It’s also a good idea to treat older adults to makeovers from time to time. They may experience changes in fine motor coordination and dexterity that make it difficult to handle buttons and other fasteners. A few new outfits that include garments that can be easily pulled up or pulled over the body will allow them to maintain their independence in this important area for longer. A trip to the nail or beauty salon can also result in cosmetic improvements that rebuild confidence and make older adults feel good about their appearance, despite recent changes.