How to Motivate and Encourage Seniors
The number of seniors is increasing steadily and representing a progressively bigger portion of the population. Medical advancements have made it possible for people to live longer, with the life expectancy in most countries being above eighty.
Here are some tips for encouraging and motivating older adults:
Encourage the Use of Technology
Social media and the internet offer communication opportunities for seniors. Increasingly more seniors are using the internet to keep in touch with their family and friends. Such connections are less stressful and convenient for all parties involved.
Other than the social benefits that the online world offers, it also provides family members with more opportunities to check in with their elderly relatives. Of course, the internet cannot substitute the physical connection that a face-to-face interaction offers; but without the internet, seniors would feel isolated and forgotten.
According to studies, social networking sites are heavily populated by older adults. This means that seniors are embracing the internet. Technology has also made it easier for sick seniors who cannot make it to the hospital every time. For instance, if a senior is in need of devices such as hearing aids in southern California, he or she can get them online.
Make Them Feel Useful
Seniors who are cognitively active like to feel useful even if they are physically impaired. Here are some tips for making the elderly feel more useful:
– Ask them for advice on decisions that you need to make.
– Ask them to advise you on life matters and make them your mentors.
– Introduce tasks that they can be in charge of and give them a sense of accomplishment.
As hard as it might be to imagine, every senior was once young and full of energy and dreams. If you ask them about their younger days, you will most likely learn that they were full of romance and adventure. Make sure that you ask the elderly about their younger days and they will be more than happy to relive the glory days and share pictures as well as stories.
If the senior lives in a senior care facility, you could surround his or her environment with memory anchors like pictures, music, movies, and fragrances. These items will enrich the person’s environment and serve as conversation starters. If you are related to the senior, you should bring something that evokes fond memories every time that you visit.
To keep the senior emotionally, cognitively, and socially active, you should encourage him or her to construct an oral or written biography. Doing so is a great way to lift the spirits and self-esteem of the person. When the older adult is regaling you with stories, you should consider asking questions to make his or her recollection more vivid.
Encourage Coping Skills
As seniors begin to experience physical and cognitive limitations, you should facilitate different coping skills to aid them in adjusting their dignity. You can do this by:
– Assisting the senior to come up with goals that are more realistic.
– Breaking down their tasks into manageable baby steps.
– Helping seniors to come up with different ways to accomplish their goals.
– Allowing the elderly to do as much as they are capable of doing without interfering. You can help when you are needed but do not insinuate yourself into the situation.
– Coming up with fewer and workable goals.
As people age, they lose their ability to move around and their mental capacity diminishes. To help them age gracefully, you should make them feel useful and encourage coping skills, self-identity, as well as the use of technology.