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Sunday, 12 February 2017

Proven Ways to Boost Confidence in Older Adults

A fabulous article from Jessica Hegg over at ViveHealth who has kindly donated this Article to The Edith Ellen Foundation

Proven Ways to Boost Confidence in Older Adults

Supercharge confidence in your elderly loved one with smart, practical solutions for alleviating feelings of helplessness and stress. Older adults, especially those with cognitive decline, memory loss, and immobility issues, often experience feelings of helplessness, disorientation, and insecurity in their day to day life. With regular exercise, structured routines, and easy, creative ways to stay active, you can make a big difference in empowering their life.

  1. Daily Schedule: Boost overall confidence in your elderly loved one by eliminating stress and anxiety with a structured daily schedule. Whether you write it down on a whiteboard in their room, or simply a notepad they keep by their bed, a daily routine for waking up, getting dressed, taking medicine, going to bed, and even eating meals provides a framework for them to succeed. Not only do daily actions become committed subconsciously to body memory, but the stability of a fixed schedule can help your loved one plan out their day and know what to expect.

  1. Exercise:  Physical exercise in older adults assists in maintaining both a healthy weight and muscle tone; those feelings of staying fit and strong are huge motivators. Exercise also helps the brain pump up endorphin production which leads to feelings of positivity and confidence. Focused low-impact exercise like yoga, brisk walks, and lifting light weights, promotes balance and coordination too. When falling in the home is a huge risk for an elderly person, practiced balance and coordination are vital to helping them embrace their own self-reliance and avoid injury.

  1. Giving Back to Others: Volunteering and giving back to others has proven to lower anxiety levels, stress and even high blood pressure. Plus, being able to help others encourages your elderly loved to feel needed, helpful and productive. Easy service ideas you and your elderly parent or friend can do together that will increase their confidence too include:
o    Baking and delivering cookies to a neighbor
o    Crocheting/knitting hats and scarves for a local shelter or hospital
o    Volunteering at a local food bank or charity re-store
o    Taking part in a walkathon or community fundraiser
4. Staying Active: Daily activities that get your elderly loved one to turn off the tv, put down the newspaper, or even leave the house for a little while, is a must for building confidence and promoting overall wellness. “Activity” doesn’t have to mean “exercise everyday” either. Socializing with others, going out with family, and taking part in the community combats stressful feelings of loneliness and isolation that often accompany old age. Step up the confidence factor for your loved one with senior activities like:

o    Gardening or working outdoors
o    Becoming a tutor
o    Joining a senior organization or club
o    Cooking a weekly meal
o    Learning a new instrument

Help your elderly parent or grandparent make a bucket list or wish list that captures the different goals and adventures they want to complete in their Golden Years. Making plans for the future and acting on them are surefire ways to promote positive feels of self-esteem and independence.

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