Aging in place is a goal for many seniors, but that can also lead to isolation and depression.
Quality of life is important for health
It’s not enough to just be alive. Good quality of life is especially important for older adults. Feeling satisfied and fulfilled is just as important as getting regular check-ups from the doctor. Having a positive view of life can help seniors have more energy, less stress, better appetite, and prevent cognitive decline.
5 ways to improve quality of life for seniors
- Treat depression
Depression late in life actually affects 6 million people age 65+.
It could be caused by stressful life events like retirement or losing a spouse. It could also be caused by a medical disease or medication side effects. It’s important to recognize the signs of depression and get help from a doctor or psychologist.
- Feel useful and needed
From the very young to the very old, everyone wants to be useful. When you care for an older adult, do your best to make them feel like you still need their help and that they’re not a burden. Ask for help with tasks they can handle, such as:
- Folding laundry
- Organizing drawers
- Opening the mail
- Writing grocery or household to-do lists
- Clipping coupons
- Keeping you up to date on the news
- Prepping dinner – for example, trimming vegetables
- Going with you to help shop for groceries or run other errands
- Stay physically active
Regular physical activity, no matter how mild, helps keeps both body and mind feeling balanced and positive.
Exercise keeps blood flowing to the brain, sharpening the mind. It also relieves anxiety, tension, and even depression! Overall, it just makes people feel better. Physically, exercise boosts the immune system, lowers blood pressure, improves sleep quality, improves heart health, improves strength and stamina, and more!
- Stay mentally active
Crossword puzzles, sudoku, other brain games, reading, and writing are all great activities for mental stimulation. Having a sharp and active mind improves overall well-being.
- Stay connected with family, friends, and community
Seniors who are isolated and lonely have shorter lives and are at greater risk for dementia. Prevent that by encouraging and helping your older adult stay connected with people. Here are a few suggestions:
- Arrange for family and friends to visit, eat with, or take them out regularly
- Arrange transportation so they can go to senior centers
- Encourage them to attend any parties – birthday, graduation, holiday, etc.
- Get them involved in a hobby
- Encourage them to volunteer with church, community, or charity organizations