Taking care of a senior loved one must not only be limited to providing care, such as helping with grooming and dressing. It is also vital that you think of ways to make aging a joyful experience for them. Below are five keys to happy aging:
1. Continue living in their homes
The Ageing Well Report by the Queens University School of Policy Studies indicated that most seniors want to age in homes and communities they can call their own. Therefore, the primary key to happy aging is to continue living in their homes to stay socially connected.
They feel joyful having people around to provide support and care. They spend time with family and friends during events and memorable moments. More importantly, they can stay in the same community and join activities suitable to their condition. They keep themselves busy and active in the process, avoiding boredom and isolation. If they have limited mobility and some health issues, you can hire an in-home caregiver to make this possible.
2. Highlight what’s positive
Your senior loved one may have issues to deal with, but you have to make sure that the type of care you or the caregiver provides does not only focus on these. Instead of always saying “you can’t do this” and “you can’t do that,” think more of the things they still can do. In this way, they develop a positive mindset and collect happy experiences. For example, they can’t take a long walk in the park. But, then, look on the positive side. They can go fishing instead. Because you focus on what they can do, you find the solution to allow them to enjoy the outdoors and stay socially active.
3. Laugh a lot
You may realize it, but a sense of humour is one of the keys to happy aging. Making your senior loved one laugh a lot will help them feel good, relaxed, and mentally recharged. As a result, they can forget about being sad or anxious. But aside from these, they also get age-related health benefits. For example, laughter improves blood circulation and oxygenation; it helps avoid high blood pressure and heart attack. In addition, it helps reduce high levels of stress.
4. Eat healthily
To stay active and independent, seniors must eat foods that provide the proper nutrients and helps maintain a healthy weight. According to the National Council on Aging, a healthy meal for seniors must have a variety so they can get all the nutrients they need: lean protein (eggs, lean meats, etc.), fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy. In addition, include foods that are also low in sodium and rich in fibre and vitamin D.
5. Get enough sleep
Allowing your senior loved one to be surrounded by family and friends, stay active and healthy, and do the things they can still not only provide joy but also benefits their overall health and well-being. These keys to happy aging also let your senior loved one achieve successful aging.