Since January is the first month and the beginning of a brand new year, it’s a great time in Tupelo and elsewhere around the country to reflect on quality of life, and what it is about your life that makes it worth living. January just happens to be International Quality Of Life Month, and that makes it doubly appropriate to consider the quality of life we enjoy, as well as the quality of life that the seniors in our lives are currently experiencing. Senior home care professionals understand the importance of quality of life, and why it makes such a big difference in the life of seniors. Some of the ideas expressed below should help you to understand just why it matters so much to the seniors in our lives, and what we can do to improve it.
Why quality-of-life matters
Many senior citizens prefer to age in place, that is in their own homes, so they can enjoy some level of independence and appreciate life in an environment which is very familiar to them. When loved ones begin to age, their quality of life becomes an issue for family members, and it becomes much more important to try and provide positive influences in the lives of seniors. This will help them to stay engaged instead of withdrawn, stimulated instead of stagnant, and content instead of unhappy.
Family members can have a huge influence on the quality of life of their loved ones, simply by taking the time to try and understand what really matters to elderly persons. The reason quality-of-life is so important to seniors is that it provides them with a reason to keep on going, rather than just giving up and accepting their fate. For this reason, it’s important that family members do whatever they can to increase the quality of life for their elderly loved ones.
Help them to set goals
By helping your senior loved ones to set goals and then achieve them, you will be providing a purpose in life for those elderly persons. In many cases, these goals might be related to health and might include exercise goals that will help seniors retain mobility and stay active. Some other worthwhile goals to establish in conjunction with your aging loved ones might be to read a new book once each month, to plant vegetables or flowers in a garden and keep them growing, or to learn a new song and sing it together each week.
Take advantage of technology
Some seniors have not had the opportunity to get acquainted with the wonderful world of technology that is constantly emerging in society. If they haven’t had the opportunity to use a cell phone, you might want to instruct them on how to use that and show them all the things that can be accomplished with a high-powered smartphone today.
Some seniors would probably love to discover all the television shows and movies that are currently available via streaming services, which of course would be considerably different from what they had in their youth. Another type of technology you might want to expose your senior loved one to is telemedicine, in which they can keep a doctor appointment via video conference rather than an actual in-person visit. There are even some new cooking technologies that your senior loved one may not have been exposed to, such as microwaves or air fryers.
It’s a great idea to help your senior loved one stay socially engaged because relationships are one of the most important reasons that people have for staying active in life. Interacting with others and making new friends is one of the best ways for improving quality of life and staying involved with the world around you.
It will invariably result in your senior feeling better about themselves, as well as their situation in life. There are all kinds of community programs that are geared toward senior socialization, and a number of community groups which form for that express purpose. It is no exaggeration to say that this kind of involvement can literally give your aging loved one a reason to live.
Frequent health checks
If your senior loved one doesn’t live in your home but instead lives alone, it will be important for you to make regular checkups on their health and welfare. At any time, it might be possible that you notice a lack of energy or a sudden loss of appetite or good hygiene. This will generally indicate the onset of some medical condition, either dementia or perhaps some other physical ailment.
If your senior loved one simply appears to be lethargic and disinterested, it could be that they’re simply going through a period of diminished quality of life, and they need some spark to get them involved again. This is when you should take steps to add some kind of positive influence to their life, in order to get them re-engaged and back into the positive flow of life.