The primary role of residential assisted living is to provide quality of life care for health and well-being. This is especially important during the winter months when seniors are prone to common colds, the flu, anxiety of shorter daylight hours and the stress of the pandemic.
What are some general practices that can be put in place for seniors in assisted living to ensure basic health and wellness consistently improve? In addition to getting routine wellness check-ups from the doctor, having a positive perspective on life can generate more energy amongst seniors.
Positivity also reduces stress, increases the appetite, and slows cognitive decline.
General health and wellness go a long way in residential assisted living. Here are five known ways to improve the quality of life amongst seniors.
5 SIMPLE STEPS TO IMPROVE QUALITY OF LIFE AMONGST SENIORS
- Treat Depression
Depression is a serious condition that impacts a huge portion of the senior population. It affects more than 6.5 million people aged 65 and over.
Depression can be caused by a variety of different conditions, to name a few:
- Stressful life events
- Illness and disability
- Chronic or severe pain
- Cognitive decline
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Sleep problems
- Medication side effects
- Losing a spouse
- Loneliness & Isolation
To improve quality of life, recognizing the signs of depression and getting professional help is important. This help can come from doctors, psychologists, therapists, or counselors.
Symptoms of depression amongst seniors are the same as any other age group. Unexplained physical pain in older adults is the leading cause of depression.
Also, significant life changes are a major contributor to the risk of depression. These life changes range from many circumstances:
- New to living alone
- A dwindling social circle due to deaths
- Decreased mobility due to illness or a loss of driving privileges
- Reduced sense of purpose
- Loss of identity, status
- Loss of self-confidence
- Loss of financial security
- Fear of death or dying
Simple lifestyle changes can treat depression.
These treatments range from increasing physical activity, finding a new hobby, regular visits with family and friends, getting enough sleep, and eating a well-balanced diet.
Numerous therapies can also help, even though many people, young and old, generally resist the notion of therapy.
- Help Seniors Feel Useful
Whether you are old or young, everybody wants to feel loved and useful. The first step to accomplishing this goal is to eliminate the sense of burden often felt by seniors. Allow seniors to contribute. Even when the end result lacks efficiency and excellence, senior contribution is key. Welcome seniors to help with tasks that they can easily handle, such as:
- Folding laundry
- Organizing drawers
- Opening the mail
- Keeping you up to date on the news
- Encourage Regular Physical Activity
Regular physical activity keeps the body and mind balanced and positive. Also, exercise gives the immune system a needed boost for health and well-being. Exercise lowers blood pressure, improves sleep quality, improves heart health, relieves anxiety, improves strength and stamina, and so much more.
- Keeping Seniors Mentally Active
Maintaining a sharp and active mind improves overall health and well-being. This is why many games for elderly adults can improve memory, daily life skills, and overall mental health. These brain games include crossword puzzles and sudoku but reading and writing also spark mental stimulation.
Playing games involve socialization, verbal interaction, ease boredom, depression and eliminate cognitive decline. This social dynamic keeps the brain active and engaged. Exercising the mind with mental activities is as important as maintaining physical fitness. Challenge your seniors every day with fun, quick, and easy-to-do activities that can be enjoyed by all.
- Maintaining Connections
Helping seniors to stay connected with family, friends, and community is the best way to avoid loneliness and isolation.
A greater risk of dementia is posed by seniors who are lonely and isolated. The following suggestions will help maintain connections and avoid higher dementia risk:
- Arrange routine virtual visit for family and friends
- Encourage seniors to attend virtual celebrations– birthday, graduation, holiday, etc.
- Get residents in assisted living involved in a hobby or personal interest
HEALTH AND WELL-BEING TIPS CAN CHANGE THE CULTURE OF YOUR ASSISTED LIVING HOME
As we approach the middle of winter, the shorter, colder days mixed with the stress and anxiety of the pandemic can put unnecessary stress on the body and mind of our nation’s seniors.
You can learn continuous well-being tips to ensure that the culture of your assisted living home is healthy.
Visit www.RALNA.org to learn more about how owning and operating a successful assisted living home has everything to do with quality senior care.
Membership with the Residential Assisted Living National Association will empower your business with the support needed from blogs, legal support, group discount purchasing and so much more.
In order to stay up to date on ways to help seniors with health and wellness, consider registering for a free membership with the Residential Assisted Living National Association.