Many seniors report a decline in quality of life as they get older, but why? Many things contribute to overall life quality, and some that loved ones can directly impact with small actions, gestures, and prompts.
Ten things that impact and improve the life of older individuals are:
Sometimes all that seniors need is a helping hand, a ride to the store, or someone to listen to them attentively. Support can improve and enhance the quality of life for those that are aging, struggling with physical limitations, or that live alone. Caregivers, civic organizations, and community groups often offer service provision for those seniors needing a bit more support.
Everyone is going to age, eventually; try to put yourself in the shoes of your senior. Don't belittle, underestimate, or disrespect the senior, regardless of the amount of assistance or support that they need.
Reports show that loneliness compromises one's quality of life and that many seniors decline after the death of a loved one, spouse, or sibling. Provide the companionship that your senior needs with pet therapy; emotional support pets include dogs and cats, and can provide a sense of joy to anyone who enjoys animals. Plus, studies show that petting a dog or cat can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and improve mood among those seniors that have access to a pet.
Another way that seniors preserve their quality of life is with independence. The opportunity to live autonomously, make their own choices, and be self-sufficient is valuable to many seniors — particularly those living in their own home. Doing things that enable the senior and that facilitate independence is an effective way of enhancing their daily living.
Does someone you love struggle with mobility issues? Getting around when and where the senior chooses may be another component of life quality. If your senior has a mobility issue or physical impairment, assisting with stair lifts, walkers, and even canes can be another tangible way to preserve their quality of life.
Make sure that your senior's favorite places and spaces are accessible to contribute to higher quality of life. This may mean that you install grab-bars, railings, or ramps that allow the senior to access areas of their home or property with ease, while also increasing overall safety at the same time.
Many seniors struggle with maintaining a sense of purpose, which can also impact self-esteem and life satisfaction. If your senior is able, help them find a volunteering situation, engage in a class, or adopt a pet, to help provide daily responsibilities, and to foster a sense of being needed.
It is important that seniors don't give up activities that bring them joy or pleasure, such as fitness, social groups, and hobbies. Take your senior to a crafting store for supplies, have them call a friend, or take them out to lunch to keep them engaged in their favorite leisure activities.
Speaking of friends, seniors may begin to isolate or withdraw following a life transition, such as the death of a spouse. Encourage them to socialize and interact with others. It has been determined that socialization contributes to quality of life, and in some instances, can combat many of the emotional hurdles that come with aging.
If you ask a senior about a decline in overall quality of life, many will contribute it to a health issue or injury. One of the most important things that you can do to help a senior improve their circumstance is to encourage regular medical check-ups and provider appointments. Catching a problem early can lead to favorable diagnoses, especially with older patients and consumers.
Help someone you love improve quality of life with these ten tips. If you feel that your senior would benefit from a little extra assistance, contact our professionals and practitioners at Oakridge Gardens Rehabilitation & Memory Center GardenView, LLC for insight and information about assisted living.