As the years come and go, your older loved ones may begin to feel less secure. The natural declines in ability that come along with age can be a hard pill to swallow, and many older adults have trouble adjusting to changes in their circumstances.
That doesn’t mean you’re resigned to watch your loved one withdraw, however. There are plenty of positive ways to boost a senior’s confidence while forging a stronger bond between you. Here are six tips to encourage and uplift your loved ones in their golden years.
Help them choose a mobility aid that promotes independence
Mobility restrictions can quickly turn into spiritual and emotional limits if your loved one isn’t receiving the support they need.
The importance of independence
Although your elderly loved one may remain sharp mentally, it’s evident to them that they can’t be as physically active as they used to be. Enabling aging adults to move around on their own creates autonomy and removes the fear that they may burden those around them.
Mobility aids that promote independence
- A walking stick or cane stylized to your loved one’s taste or carved with an aesthetically pleasing design
- A walker or crutches so they can stand and walk for longer without needing to rest
- Stamina-friendly tools like the So Lite Wheelchair for ultralight self-propelled motion
- A mobility scooter
Any of these tools can be a game-changer for the way your senior views their abilities and circumstances, so don’t hesitate to suggest a mobility aid to your loved one.
Slow down and listen
As the world keeps evolving around them, the seniors in your life may feel that they can’t keep up. Show your loved ones respect and care by allowing space for them to think and express themselves. Your loved one will appreciate your genuine attention and thoughtful questions as you discuss subjects that matter to you both.
Encourage them to forge strong relationships
It’s no secret that companionship is paramount in old age. Connecting with the right community for their needs will help your elderly loved one stay engaged with the world, find comfort and friendship, and boost their mental health through positive human contact.
Help them build physical strength
Simple tasks like walking and lifting promote bone and muscle health for older adults. Gentle exercise, such as swimming or chair yoga, get their positive endorphins flowing and instill confidence in their capabilities of what they can still accomplish.
It’s easier for older people to feel and act younger if they’re not forced to go slower. Make sure your relative’s home is supportive of easy and safe living. Handrails, non-slip mats, bathtub/shower fixtures, and handicap accessibility encourage mobility without drawing attention to their restrictions.
Ask them for guidance with your own concerns
Even with a generational divide, there are timeless issues that the elderly faced in their day, and they probably weren’t much different than what you struggle with now. Asking a loved one to share their wisdom and experience helps instill confidence and strengthen the bond between you two. As a bonus, you can benefit from tried-and-tested life advice.
Show interest in their hobbies
Does your loved one enjoy art, music, puzzles, knitting, or baking? Even if your loved one can’t engage in a pursuit at the same level they used to, chances are their enthusiasm for it hasn’t waned. Show an older adult you care by displaying genuine interest in the particulars of their hobby and watch the light in their eyes sparkle. It’s an excellent opportunity for your loved one to feel knowledgeable.
No matter how you care for them, your loved one will be sure to benefit. Show your support for each older adult’s advanced lifestyle in the way that suits them best, and enjoy seeing them thrive for years to come.