Self-Care Tips For Seniors

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Accessible Home Health Care

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Jan 10, 2024

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Florida - Southwest

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  Self-care is an important part of everyone’s mental health, especially seniors. As we get older, our health might not always be at its best, and it can become easier to feel a lack of independence, which can harm mental health.

There are many ways that seniors can participate in self-care. All of them are easy enough to do and require only as much or as little as our loved ones can handle. 

We’ve compiled a list of some simple tips to keep seniors on the road to positivity and health. Knowing what your senior loves and cherishes the most will help determine how you can help them participate in self-care.

Types of Self-Care

There are many different ways seniors can keep themselves active and happy. Many people think that self-care only means things that physically take care of someone. However, self-care can also be activities that simply bring people joy. For seniors, that can be physical activities, relaxing with a good book, or hanging out with some family or friends. 

Check out our list below for some helpful ideas to help your senior loved ones find those nuggets of joy in their everyday lives.

  • Exercise

The best way someone can look out for themselves is by taking care of their body. One of the ways to accomplish this is through exercise. For seniors, that can be tough, especially if they struggle with bodily autonomy. The great news is that exercise can be any body movement that keeps your body agile. For example, walking is a great way to stay active. Sources like the CDC recommend that adults 65 and older walk about 30 minutes daily. Yoga is also an effective, non-strenuous activity that can increase mental well-being. 

  • Eating Healthy

Healthy eating is great for both mind and body. We can give ourselves a bit of self-care by making sure that the food we put into our bodies is the best food available. Seniors especially need to be sure they are eating well to give their bodies the nutrients it needs to maintain. Eating a balanced diet doesn’t mean we can’t have fun with what we eat. It just means we think kindly of ourselves when planning our meals. 

  • Skin Care

Taking care of your outer body, such as your skin, can also help you take care of your inner body, such as your mind. Making a daily routine of applying lotions to our skin helps keep our bodies healthy and gives us a moment to pause and take a break from the world around us. This routine can help us have a more positive mind and become more relaxed. Our skin care can be something we do at the start of the day to get us on the right track for success or at the end of our day to help us relax before going to sleep.

  • Good Sleep/Relaxation

Everyone knows that good sleep and good health go hand-in-hand. If you don’t get enough sleep, your physical and mental health suffers. It is suggested that we get at least 8 hours of sleep a night to be fully refreshed for the day. Sleep isn’t enough on its own. We have to also go into the day with a relaxed mindset. This means doing tasks that increase mindfulness and relaxation. One of the ways we can do this is by participating in meditation. For seniors who struggle with relaxing, a helpful tip might be to try breathing exercises or yoga. This is a simple way to make big mindfulness changes.

  • Nature

Spending time in nature helps more than just someone’s mental health. Being in the sunshine or around flowers and greenery can also be good for our physical health. Research has shown that being outside helps alleviate stress and worry as well as reduce anger and sadness. People who spend time in parks or out hiking through the woods/forests are more likely to be cooperative and empathetic. Even something as simple as gardening can brighten a senior’s spirits and put them in a better mood for the day.

  • Plans with Loved Ones

One of the easiest ways to practice self-care is by making plans with people who mean the most to you. Being surrounded by love and support is one of the best ways to turn anyone’s mental health around. These plans can give seniors something to look forward to and alleviate any stress that may come up as part of everyday living. It’s one of those self-care items that can be done with or without leaving home, which is even more exciting.

  • Journaling

As we get older, it can become easier to forget the things in our lives that bring us joy. One way seniors can take care of themselves is to start a gratitude journal. This encourages them to focus on the positive instead of the negative. It keeps their focus on the things going great instead of what isn’t meeting their expectations.

  • Start a New Hobby or Revisit Old Ones

Hobbies are something that anyone can find joy in. These activities can be something seniors haven’t done in a while or simply something new. Putting together a puzzle, finishing a crossword, or even knitting something for a loved one can be something seniors do to pass the time and keep their minds sharp. These activities provide serotonin which in turn relaxes worries and anxieties. Focusing on a task can provide your loved ones with some much-needed “me time.”

How Can We Help Our Loved Ones?

There are many ways we can help our loved ones stay on the positive path in life. If you believe that your older loved ones are experiencing depression or having a negative self-outlook, being there and reaching out can help them find joy. 

Being there for your loved ones to encourage them or even give them ideas for how they can participate in self-care is the greatest gift you can give them. They may not be receptive to your suggestions, but never give up on trying to encourage and include them. Eventually, they will start to actively take on these self-care activities themselves. Making it a family thing may help them be more open to trying these activities.

If you aren’t physically able to be there for your loved ones and encourage them daily, enlist others who can. This could simply mean asking their in-home caretaker to try new activities to encourage them multiple times a week. Accessible loves helping your elderly loved ones feel empowered to engage in self-care, whether at home or in the community. There is no wrong way to self-care as long as you do it.

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