As a person goes through the aging process, they will experience a spectrum of changes, both physical and emotional. In general, physical changes – such as changes in vision and mobility –are the most obvious to identify, but it is now known that one’s emotional health is a key component to a healthy, fulfilled and happy life.
At Home Care Assistance of Philadelphia, we take a balanced and holistic approach to care that focuses not only on a senior’s need for a nutritious diet and daily exercise, but on the importance of social ties and achieving a sense of calmness and purpose. We know that evaluating the emotional wellbeing of a loved one as they age is just as important as monitoring physical energy levels and health factors such as blood sugar levels and blood pressure.
There are many ways to evaluate a loved one’s emotional wellness. Some may feel comfortable asking their loved ones very candidly if they are feeling okay or they are happy overall. For others, it may be an uncomfortable topic, but emotional health is definitely not something to be ignored or put aside.
If the topic of emotional wellness is an uncomfortable one, then perhaps an indirect approach can be used to determine the emotional wellbeing of a loved one. These indirect approaches include monitoring your loved one’s degree of interest in their favorite activities, whether or not they prefer being on their own or in the company of others, and any other changes in their moods. If you notice any of these changes in behavior, it may be time to intervene. The following are a few simple ways that families can help their loved one renew his or her spirit:
- Call and visit more oftenMany times, families don’t realize how life, family and work have hindered their ability to visit and regularly check in with their loved one. Sometimes a simple call can make all the difference in a senior’s day.
- Encourage participation in activities out of the homeFamilies should encourage their aging loved ones to visit the local senior center, to volunteer or participate in a class whether to learn a new skill or to exercise. Taking up a hobby can help to give seniors a sense of self-worth, and also provides the opportunity for additional socialization.
- Hire a caregiverAvailable for part-time or live-in care in Philadelphia, professional caregivers can provide seniors with the companionship and socialization needed to remain engaged and happy. Caregivers can also help with a variety of household chores and tasks to ensure safety, maximize comfort and promote overall quality of life.
Despite how uncomfortable the topic in general may be, it is important to engage in open conversation with your loved one, discussing important matters beyond physical health. You might find that they are relieved to see that someone cares about them enough to notice these changes, or even relieved to be able to discuss how they’re feeling with another person. In any case, assuring your loved one that you care can help build stronger relationships and create a positive aging experience overall.
For more information about how to meet a senior’s emotional need or companionship care in Philadelphia, reach out to Home Care Assistance at Philadelphia and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a friendly Care Manager.