Aging is a natural process that changes how we look and feel, inside and out. Our appearance, the increase of physical limitations, and sometimes cognitive decline can start affecting self-esteem and self-confidence. How seniors cope with aging can have a major impact on emotional wellbeing, which in turn affects overall health and wellness.
So how can we help aging seniors regain confidence and self-esteem?
Some of the major areas we can make a difference are providing support with self care, staying active, engaging in meaningful activities, and encouraging social interactions. Also, finding ways of reducing stress in a senior’s life is of great importance, as stress can contribute to raised blood pressure, difficulty sleeping, low energy levels, nervousness, fatigue, concentration and focus issues, and emotional distress.
Please find below some helpful tips:
Seniors who engage in regular social interactions generally seem to have higher self-esteem and self-confidence. Cooking and eating together, watching favorite movies or shows, listening to music, going for walks, talking about favorite hobbies or life-time travels, sharing about current events, will encourage meaningful conversation and interaction. Also, asking your seniors for advice or their opinion on a particular problem or topic can greatly boost their self-confidence.
Support your senior loved one with staying in a more positive mindset. Find solutions or workarounds together for challenges that present themselves in their daily lives. Remind your loved one of what they CAN do to help shift the focus from what they can no longer do. Emphasize that there is no shame in getting older and asking for help when the need arises.
Feeling fresh, having a nice haircut, pretty nails, clean shave or great looking outfit can be a wonderful mood-booster. Remember, your seniors may want to feel and look their best, just like younger folk. Supporting them with this very personal need, finding out what is most important to them, and assisting with setting up a self-care regimen and schedule, can be a big step forward in boosting self-esteem.
For seniors the lack of regular and appropriate exercise can result in weaker muscles, decline of motor skills, and difficulty with overall balance and body strength. Incorporating exercise routines that match your senior’s needs and physical capabilities, incorporating regular walks or participation in exercise classes such as chair Yoga, Tai Chi or water aerobics, can maintain and often even help regain strength and vitality, which in turn boosts self-confidence and self-esteem.
Power of Touch
Gentle massage can help reduce stress and anxiety, leading to a healthier and happier state of mind. Involve a specialist or learn how to provide simple hand massages, using gentle lotions or soothing essential oils. Touch makes us feel safe and comfortable, going far beyond verbal human connection.
Limitations, physical and mental, can be very challenging for seniors. Be patient and understanding when your loved one becomes irritated, frustrated or even angry. Learn how to best react and offer support, channeling their negative emotions towards a new solution or different approach, while helping them keep their dignity.
Nothing is more frustrating for a senior than living in an environment that hasn’t adjusted to their particular physical needs. Providing hand rails where needed, smooth and non-slip floors, removing tripping hazards, and putting everyday items within easy reach, can go a long way in improving a loved one’s day, reducing irritability and frustration, while making their surroundings a little safer.
If you’re looking for an assisted living or integrated memory care community for a parent or loved one that pays special attention to making your senior feel more like themselves, please contact Cabot Cove of Largo at 727-539-1200 to speak with an assisted living advisor or to schedule a tour.