As the physical condition of a senior declines, it is more important than ever to keep their mind stimulated and their spirits high. As seniors age, they are forced to face many new stressors they may have never experienced before, such as losing a spouse, watching their savings trickle away, losing touch with friends, and even losing their faith. Many research studies have shown that emotional stress can have negative effects on the physical condition of a body. Here are seven ways that caregivers can fight back.
1. Investigate the goals and dreams of your client. These can be simple goals like watching a rodeo at a county fair or helping to take care of a small pet.
2. Find volunteering opportunities that align with the interests and abilities of your client. Non-profit organizations have an assortment of valuable activities they could trust to a responsible senior from collecting donations to baking cookies. Helping others for a noble cause is a good way to take pride in your community.
3. Help renew the spiritual side of your client. If you know the faith of your client, invite them to a spiritual event that aligns with that faith.
4. Encourage them to keep in contact with friends. Take pictures of social outings and start a scrapbook to help preserve these memories.
5. Celebrate important events of your client, their family, and their friends. Surprise your client with a special dinner or dessert for this occasion.
6. Encourage your client to try a new hobby or activity. Some activities, such as joining a walking club at the mall, can have both physical and social benefits.
7. Praise them for accomplishing a difficult task, keeping a positive attitude in difficult times, or when they teach you something new. Let them know how they have helped you grow as a caregiver and as a person. They need to know that you appreciate them just as much as they appreciate you.
If caregivers ignore senior stress, it will have a negative effect on their client’s quality of life and their relationship with that senior. In contrast, if caregivers are devoted to improving the quality of life they will have a more fulfilling relationship with that senior.