Seniors often have chronic illnesses because as people age, their bodies are more prone to developing illnesses due to weakened immune systems and other age-related issues. A chronic illness can vary; it might be cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s. All of these can impact a senior’s mental health, and it’s crucial to make it a focus as your loved one ages. But not all seniors know how to focus on mental health. If your loved one has a home care provider, they could work on this together.
Here are some ways your loved one can focus on mental health while battling a chronic illness.
Add Activities To Your Loved One’s Calendar
One of the best things about having a home care provider is they can help your senior loved one manage their calendars and daily routines. A senior should fit in feel-good activities in their daily or weekly schedule. This might be something they enjoy, like water aerobics, painting classes, or even music lessons. This will help your loved one improve their mental health and even ease other symptoms of chronic illnesses.
Take Small Steps
Small steps make a big difference when it comes to mental health, but big steps can seem intimidating. Instead of trying to set a huge goal, focus on breaking it up. Start small. A senior can start doing a hobby one day a week or establish a routine with a 5-minute meditation time each morning. When they have a good handle on adding the small steps to their routine, they may want to add more!
Rely On Others Such as Home Care Aides
When a senior is battling a chronic condition and aging in place alone, it can be nearly impossible to focus on mental health and self-care. This is because they may not want to feel like a burden or know who to ask for help. When a senior can rely on their loved ones, network, or people like home care, it can make their daily lives easier, allowing them to focus on their mental health more. For example, if a senior knows they can rely on home care for transportation, they won’t need to limit the number of feel-good hobbies they do, and when they can rely on family to help around the house to do chores, it can be a huge relief for them. Ensure your loved one knows they can ask for help and be there for them!
Focus on Self-Compassion
Self-compassion can help seniors to cultivate a positive attitude and outlook, allowing them to enjoy life more fully. When a senior lacks this compassion, it can be easier to beat themselves up over the things they may not be able to control. This is especially true if they are struggling with a chronic illness. One of the best ways to do this is to start to practice gratitude each day. This is something simple that can be added into a routine but make a huge difference in a senior’s mental health. It allows them to take the time to be grateful for what their bodies can do, what their minds can do, and be grateful for the people who help them the most.