During any stage of life, it’s a good idea to pay attention to both physical and mental wellbeing. But when it comes time to provide care for an older loved one, more attention is often paid to his or her more obvious physical needs. Today, we’re going to focus on the unique and equally essential mental health needs of seniors and what you can do to meet these needs as you provide care for an aging loved one.
From reduced mobility to financial worries, there are many things that can cause an older adult to become excessively stressed or anxious. Look for signs of changes in behavior that suggest your loved one is worried or anxious, especially if he or she has a tendency to not discuss personal concerns. Oftentimes, stress and anxiety can be managed by working with your loved one to find solutions to issues causing excess concern and worry.
As life circumstances change, seniors tend to need added emotional support. Pay particular attention to times when significant changes happen, such as when a spouse passes away or living arrangements change. Extra emotional support in situations like these can minimize issues with depression and help seniors maintain mental stability.
Regular interactions help older adults stay mentally alert and focused, which may also reduce issues with depression, loneliness, and age-related cognitive decline. Help your loved one enjoy the many emotional benefits of regular companionship by:
• Planning interactive activities
• Encouraging involvement in senior-friendly activities specific to your parent’s interests (e.g., senior travel, gardening, or reading groups)
• Considering in-home care when he or she is alone for long periods
• Exploring options with social media
Home care can be a wonderful solution when your loved one needs companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just needs minor assistance with daily household tasks. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide senior care. Fort Myers families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties.
It’s common for family caregivers to get into the habit of doing things automatically for their senior loved ones. While it’s sometimes necessary to jump in and lend a helping hand, you should also give your loved one a chance to do some tasks independently to retain a sense of accomplishment and receive a mentally beneficial self-esteem boost.
Respect & Privacy
It can sometimes be emotionally stressful if privacy is sacrificed to complete personal tasks like grooming and bathing. Help your loved one retain dignity by finding ways to offer hands-on care in a way that still allows for some degree of privacy. Also, be respectful of personal space by asking permission before doing anything that will involve physical contact.
Professional home caregivers understand how important it is to respect seniors’ dignity and privacy. Although it may be challenging to find reliable, highly rated senior home care, you can turn to Home Care Assistance. Our respite and live-in caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide array of important tasks, including cooking, bathing, light housekeeping, and exercise.
Older adults need to feel useful. This is a mental health need that can often be met by encouraging a senior to volunteer, help a grandchild with schoolwork, become more active at church, or find ways to help local charities or support community efforts.
Sufficient mental stimulation helps an aging brain function well. It’s also mentally rewarding because it helps with focus, concentration, and clarity. Fortunately, there are many options with mental stimulation for seniors. Options include:
• Storytelling with family members
• Using brain-stimulating apps
• Creating memory books
• Playing mentally challenging games
• Working on various art/craft projects
• Reviving hobbies
For many seniors in Fort Myers, FL, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (239) 449-4701 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.