They say there is always something to be thankful for, and this time of year, more than any other, drives home the importance of having an attitude of gratitude. Nonetheless, for aging parents, for a variety of reasons, it may be difficult to find and focus on the positives in the course of the difficulties of aging, such as chronic health diagnoses, mobility issues, cognitive concerns, lost loved ones, and so much more.
It’s necessary for us to help our older family members who might feel anything but thankful to shift their focus toward appreciation, as research indicates the following senior health benefits of thankfulness:
- Enhanced physical and mental health
- Improved senior sleeping habits
- Strengthened relationships
- Reduced aggression
- A boost in self-esteem
- Greater resilience and mental strength
- And numerous others
These strategies can foster a better outlook – for the seniors you adore, along with yourself:
- Thankful breathing. Settle into a quiet, relaxing location, close your eyes, and take ten deep, cleansing breaths. While you exhale each breath, think of an easy phrase of gratitude, such as “thank you.” This technique helps reduce heart rate and blood pressure, soothing both mind and body.
- Journaling. Each day, look for three things – even the smallest of things – for which you are thankful, and document them in a diary or journal. It can be as basic as a hot cup of tea, a phone call from a friend, and the gentle rainfall. Read back through your entries on a regular basis.
- Look for surprises. Seek out things in your surrounding environment that perhaps you hadn’t noticed before, or that you are seeing for the first time in a different way. Has a new kind of bird come to visit your bird feeder this morning? Can you pick out a favorite childhood toy in the background of a family photo?
- Engaging sensory input. Find a focal point that activates each one of your senses, and make time to appreciate each one. Move outside to feel and smell the fresh, brisk air of fall. Enjoy a bite of warm apple pie. Gaze at the morning sunrise. Turn on a popular song (and sing along!)
Grace Home Care, providers of top-rated Topeka respite care, is always on hand to brighten each and every day for older adults and to provide plenty of reasons for thankfulness! Our thoroughly trained and experienced caregivers make the perfect companion to take part in enjoyable activities, discussions, and excursions, and they are available to assist with a variety of in-home care services such as planning and preparing healthy meals, making certain the house is tidy and well organized, running errands, assisting with personal care needs, and more. Email or call us at 785-286-2273 for a complimentary in-home consultation and for further resources that can help improve wellbeing for a senior you love.