As senior adults continue to age, they often become homebound and their quality of life is affected. Once they no longer drive, many lose the independence to come and go, to see friends, to attend church or other events, or even enjoy the outdoors.
That sense of being alone can be detrimental to his or her health. Known as social isolation, the loneliness and lack of interaction with others has been linked to higher rates of anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity.
For family members of the elderly person, this is a tipping point where we at FootPrints Home Care encourage you to be watchful. We all need things to look forward to, a sense of value and purpose, and interaction with others around us.
Here are some ideas to add to your loved ones quality of life.
- Plan an outing they would enjoy. This does not have to be anything fancy, in fact, a simple drive in the country along familiar roads would be a perfect excursion. Take your loved one to the grocery store to choose a few snacks they like or to a grandchild’s baseball game.
- Set up activities that can be shared amongst the family. Bring in a prepared family meal to enjoy at his or her home. Bring an old photo album that he or she would enjoy. Play music from their era and ask what memories those songs bring back.
- The value of sunshine and pets is powerful! Take your elderly family member outdoors to feel the sunshine on their face, to plant some bulbs in a pot, to go for a walk or wheelchair ride through the park. Our FootPrints caregivers say that taking a senior for a walk is a sure way to make it a good day!
- If they had pets or worked with animals, imagine the joy a few minutes with a critter would bring. Is there a friendly dog or cat that could make a short visit? Even finding online videos of animals— baby lamb’s bouncing across a field or the birdsong as a new day starts— could provide happiness with a simple video, something he or she would otherwise never think to do.
The important thing is to be mindful of the senior’s quality of life, to help make it as best as can be. At FootPrints Home Care, we love doing just that as well, helping each elderly adult stay in their own home as long as possible. From 24/7 care to regular or even occasional home care services, we are here to help your family in the greater Albuquerque and Santa Fe region.