Motivating and EncourAGING Seniors

We’re quick to assume fading interests, isolation, and indifferent attitudes are part of the aging process.  The elderly are perceived to be irritable, disagreeable, or crotchety people who enjoy being alone.  They loath youthful visitors interfering with their daily routine and are judgmental nuisances.  Why are seniors viewed so negatively?  We’re unempathetic to the needs and wants of our aging population.  It’s easier to label than motivate and encourage.  Physical and mental decline limit seniors’ participation in society.  They recognize their declining fitness or slowing cognitive abilities and avoid activities magnifying these short-comings.  Their self-esteem begins to diminish along with socialization.  How can we actively engage our seniors and help them regain/maintain independence?

1.)  Promote Usefulness

Seniors need a sense of purpose, a feeling of usefulness.  Include aging loved-ones in conversations.  Ask for their opinions on topics of interest.  Urge active participation in making a care plan.  Allow them to complete tasks within their physical limits.  Show appreciation for their lives and accomplishments.  

2.)  Encourage Self-Identity

Our elders have lived fascinating lives.  They’ve witnessed events we’ve only read in history books.  Their aging exteriors cover once young, energetic, vibrant interiors.  Encourage conversations detailing their adventurous youth.  Ask questions about memorable life experiences.  Surround them with pictures and personal items reminiscent of specific time periods.  Show interest in their past, present, and future lives.

3.)  Set Goals

Creating realistic goals gives focus and motivation to seniors.   Accomplishing goals encourages independence and usefulness.  Arrange activities and compliment when objectives are achieved.  Fuel motivation by setting attainable goals and acknowledging success.

4.)  Introduce Technology

Educate seniors about technology and its societal advantages.  Encourage connection with family and friends through social-networking.  Discuss the importance of elderly monitoring systems in homecare.  Promote mental stimulation through online engagement in daily current events and literature.

The aging process limits physical and cognitive abilities.  It creates doubt and deflates self-esteem.  Encourage and motivate seniors by promoting their lives and accomplishments.  Allow participation in our technology-driven society by providing necessary equipment and knowledge.  Assist our aging population with regaining/maintaining their independence.  How can we help the elderly stay independent?  Leave a comment!  Thank you for reading!  Please share!