Starting a conversation about mental health can be difficult, but these thoughtful conversations can give seniors an opportunity to express themselves, and can help to make sure that all possible matters of concern are sufficiently tended to. When combined with all the other cognitive and physical changes and adjustments that seniors are dealing with as a part of older age, mental health problems, if left unaddressed, can have a significant and meaningful impact on seniors’ lives.
The deeply meaningful bonds and connections that can be forged and strengthened as you care for someone that you love can be incredibly fulfilling and deeply rewarding. While the emotionally enriching and relationally stirring feelings that can come from a caring relationship are undeniable, another reality of caregiving is that it can often be stressful, overwhelming, and draining. The often all-consuming nature of considering needs and delivering care can alter caregiver’s feelings of health and wellbeing in negative ways that impact their capacity to take part in enjoyable aspects of their lives to the fullest extent. Taking on the entire breadth of responsibility for the provision of care at all times requires a great deal of work and sacrifice for one person to carry on their own, and people who are committed to caregiving must also remember that making sure their own needs are met should be made a priority as well. It can be difficult to prioritize your own health and wellbeing when you are so deeply dedicated to pouring yourself into caring for another person, but exploring the option of Respite Care, which is designed to address this very problem, can be a positive way to bring about a greater sense of balance and ease.
While working their way through the process of growing older, there are many different factors and facets that seniors need to consider as they determine how best to live out the rest of their lives. Part of this process of figuring out what will help seniors to live happily, healthily, and with a positive state of overall wellbeing involves looking into different activities, behaviours, practices, and priorities that can potentially help seniors to build a fulfilling and positive lifestyle for themselves. Personal and individual circumstances, interests, and levels of ability mean that varying activities will be appealing, enjoyable, and accessible for each individual, but one activity that remains consistently available and always valuable for seniors is spending time interacting with the healing powers of nature in the great outdoors. Time spent outside, especially with a sense of connectedness to nature, is something that has the ability to improve the state of both mental and physical health that seniors experience, and setting aside just a bit of time to go outdoors can be deeply valuable for seniors’ in North and West Vancouver.
Maintaining a sense of connectedness is deeply important for our health and wellbeing, and an important part of upholding connections is having the opportunity to interact socially with valued companions, friends, and acquaintances. Caring for these social relationships is deeply important for avoiding isolation and the negative emotional impacts that prolonged solitude can have upon how we feel about ourselves, our circumstances, and the world that surrounds us. Everyone is deserving of meaningful and reciprocal relationships that fill them with feelings of joy and remind them that they are loved and appreciated by others. The unfortunate reality for a great deal of seniors, however, is that isolation and loneliness are feelings that are often common within their lives. The impacts that isolation, and the feelings that it creates, have upon seniors mental and physical health can be significant, so it is deeply important that seniors and those who care for them work to ensure that socialization and connectedness remain priorities in seniors’ daily lives.
As we continue to grow older and move through the numerous stages that make up our lives, we accumulate an array of material belongings to which we may become emotionally attached through casual fondness or nostalgic association. The items that we have in our possession can become incredibly valuable to us in one way or another, but it is also possible for people to take their tendency to collect and hold onto things to an unhealthy extreme. Diogenes Syndrome, also known as Senile Squalor Syndrome, is a behavioural disorder encountered by some seniors that manifests in hoarding and other behaviours related to lifestyle and cleanliness that can be harmful and damaging to seniors’ safety and wellbeing as well as their physical and mental health.
Between medications, health appointments, exercises, eating well, and keeping on track with healthy lifestyle choices, aging can feel like it involves an unending list of decisions, behaviours, activities, and tasks that seniors and their caregivers need be managing and taking care of on a consistent basis. As more and more things pile up, it can become easy for some things to get forgotten or pushed to the side in favour of prioritizing practices that feel more urgent or imperative for the maintenance of health. One of the things that is deeply important, but is rarely attended to as thoroughly as necessary, is the practice of ensuring that seniors hydrate themselves sufficiently throughout the day. Proper hydration is absolutely imperative for the body’s functioning, so seniors should be proactive about implementing strategies and making choices that keep them hydrated at all times.
Seniors who choose to remain at home as they live out their elder years often find themselves spending a great deal of their lives within their homes. As seniors continue to age, it is not uncommon for them to find themselves spending less time outside the home overall, whether this be because of health concerns, fewer social involvements, or simply because they feel safer and more comfortable within their homes.
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