While on my way to visit a client, I noticed the beautiful flowers opening everywhere. From tulips to crocuses, colorful blooms and blossoming trees herald the arrival of spring. It got me thinking about how flowers can lift our spirits and make everything seem brighter and more hopeful. After this past year of hardships, due to the pandemic, many of us could use a break from negativity. This is especially true for seniors, who are not only at higher risk of serious illness from coronavirus, but whose mental health has been impacted by quarantines and social isolation.
My client Lois, age 82, had just recently visited her daughter and grandkids after all members of the family were fully vaccinated. When I stopped for my weekly visit, she talked about how long and difficult the winter seemed, and how refreshing it was to see her family in person. She mentioned how much she enjoyed time outside with the flowers blooming and the smells of spring.
“It feels like forever since I got out,” she said. “It felt really good to get dressed up and actually socialize. It really boosted my mood and gave me a whole new outlook.”
That led to a conversation about what helps seniors not just live, but to also thrive mentally, emotionally, physically, socially, and spiritually. Helping a senior feel their best takes into account all of these factors:
- Social Needs: Satisfying social needs is important for sustaining emotional wellbeing and quality of life. Conversely, loneliness and isolation can lead to depression and physical illness.
- Emotional Needs: Staying connected with others helps seniors feel safe, supported, and part of the community.
- Physical Health: Exercise is beneficial for people of all ages. Even low-impact exercise like walking can strengthen bones, reduce blood pressure, help with sleep, and contribute to feelings of wellbeing.
- Intellectual Activities: Learning new skills and keeping the mind sharp can improve memory and reduce loneliness.
- Spiritual Needs: Meeting spiritual needs contributes to a sense of meaning and purpose.
Just as the flowers bloom in spring, family members and care managers can help their older adults bloom and make the most of their ‘golden years.’ Focusing on the positive and meeting emotional and physical needs can help seniors have more energy, less stress, and enjoy a better quality of life.
If you or someone in your family are facing aging challenges, please give us a call at 850-894-6720 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be happy to assist!