As they say there is always something to be grateful for, and this time of year, more than any other, drives home the need for us to have an attitude of gratitude. However, for the elderly, for many different reasons, it may be hard to find and focus on the positives in the course of the difficulties of aging, such as chronic health diagnoses, mobility issues, cognitive concerns, lost loved ones, and so much more.
It’s important for us to help our older family members who may feel anything but thankful to shift their attention to appreciation, as studies have shown the following senior health benefits of gratitude:
- Improved physical and mental health
- Improved senior sleeping habits
- Strengthened relationships
- Decreased aggression
- A boost in self-esteem
- Increased resilience and mental strength
- And numerous others
These strategies can foster a brighter outlook – for the seniors you love, along with yourself:
- Thankful breathing. Settle into a quiet, relaxing place, close your eyes, and take 10 deep, cleansing breaths. While you exhale each breath, think to yourself a basic phrase of gratitude, such as “thank you.” This technique helps reduce heart rate and blood pressure, relaxing both mind and body.
- Journaling. Each day select three things – even the tiniest of things – for which you are thankful, and write them in a diary or journal. It could be as basic as a warm cup of coffee, a phone call from a good friend, and the gentle rainfall. Read back through your entries on a routine basis.
- Finding surprises. Look for something in your surrounding environment that perhaps you hadn’t noticed before, or that you are seeing for the first time in a new way. Has a different type of bird come to visit your bird feeder today? Is it possible to pick out a favorite childhood toy in the background of a family photo?
- Engaging sensory input. Find a focal point that activates your senses and appreciate each one of these. Step outside to feel and smell the fresh, brisk air of fall. Savor a bite of pumpkin pie. Gaze at the morning sunrise. Switch on a popular song (and sing along!)
Morning Glory Home Care, Highland home health care and senior care providers throughout the surrounding areas, is always on hand to brighten each and every day for older adults and to provide plenty of reasons for gratitude! Our thoroughly trained and experienced caregivers make the perfect companion to engage in interesting activities, conversations, and excursions, and are also available to assist with an array of in-home care services including planning and preparing delicious meals, ensuring the house is neat and well organized, running errands, helping with personal care needs, and much more. Reach out to us at 618-667-8400 for a complimentary in-home consultation or for further resources in order to improve total wellbeing for an older adult you love.