As the primary caregiver of an elderly person, you want to help your loved one live a happy, healthy life. You want them to be fulfilled and getting the most out of their time with you. If you’ve never cared for an elderly person before, it can be pretty overwhelming to suddenly become responsible for the care and well being of another person.
Allow us to make caring for a loved one easier on both of you. Here are four ways to add value to your loved one’s life—and to your life as well.
Start a New Hobby Together
One of the best ways to add value to your loved one’s life is to introduce a new hobby or skill into their life. Whoever said “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” clearly didn’t know what they were talking about. While it may take a little longer to pick up a new skill or hobby for an elderly person, it is not impossible, and the benefits are immeasurable.
By starting a new hobby or learning a skill or information, your loved one’s brain will be more active. This can greatly improve their mental health by making new connections in their brain. It may even help slow the progression of or help prevent dementia. Plus, your loved one will treasure the quality time spent learning a new hobby or skill with you.
Try taking up a hobby like doing puzzles, painting, learning a new language, or volunteering together.
Promote Healthy Habits
Eating right and exercising regularly are two very important factors to living a healthy, happy life. Seniors should be getting around 20 minutes of exercise per day and eating well to fight off disease and illness. You can promote healthy habits by exercising with your loved one and preparing food for or with them.
Go for walks around the neighborhood, garden together, or encourage taking up an aerobics class. Your loved one should be more energized, feel happier, and more. Try introducing more fresh fruits and vegetables into your loved one’s diet and limiting junk food as well.
Note: Please consult with your loved one’s doctor before changing their exercise routine or diet, especially if they have any existing medical conditions.
Provide Love and Support
Even if your loved one has a hard time expressing it, they value your care and companionship every day. Older adults are very prone to experiencing depression or loneliness, and your presence can help fight those feelings. Your company is helping to improve their mental health.
To add even more value to their life, you can provide your support and love when they need it. One of the best ways to do this is by lending an ear to your loved one. Elderly adults often have fears about getting older and the changes they are experiencing. Maybe they just want to be able to share stories and memories from their younger years. You can help bring joy to their life and improve their mental health by being there to listen and engaging in quality conversation.
Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself
We know that it can be easy to forget about your own well being when you are constantly focused on that of another person. It’s important to remember to take time for yourself when you need it. You deserve to take a break and recuperate from all of the support and care you provide regularly. When you take time to focus on yourself, you’ll be able to provide better care as a stable, positive presence.
One of the best ways to take time for yourself is through respite care. Respite care is a short-term type of home care for when you need a break. When you need time to relax or take care of things outside of the home, a respite care provider will ensure that your loved one is taken care of. Whether you need relief for a few hours one day or for an entire weekend, you can customize your respite care services to meet your needs.
We appreciate all of the hard work you put into caring for your loved one. It’s time you got a break to take care of yourself. Click below to learn more about respite care and for more tips on caring for your loved one at home.