Self-care can range from periodic exercise to mental health breaks to care for one’s physical appearance. While these activities are important for anyone to practice in their everyday lives, self-care and the quality of life it provides are particularly helpful to older adults and seniors.
Self-care for seniors allows them to continue exercising control over themselves and maintain their dignity. By allowing and encouraging your senior loved ones to take care of their physical health, mental health, and daily appearance, you’re helping them maintain a healthy view of themselves well into old age. Not only does this help curb the tendency toward depression in senior years, but it also demonstrates that you truly love and support your family members through their efforts.
Maintaining Their Identity
Everyone has a particular style or preference unique to them that influences how they dress or groom. After a while, that special style becomes a part of their identity and they can’t imagine themselves without it. Your elderly loved ones almost certainly have a particular style they enjoy in their appearance. If they suddenly couldn’t maintain that style anymore, it might unconsciously feel like a part of their identity is gone. Encourage them to continue emulating their own style and avoid the feeling of losing their identity as they age.
For aging adults, dignity is a major concern. Many seniors are simply too old to care for themselves anymore, but with the proper care and independence, they can maintain their dignity even in age. Appearance and self-care play a huge part in this. It’s a matter of pride for many seniors that they can still perform self-care and private tasks with little to no assistance, just as it’s a matter of dignity for them to be able to dress as they choose. If your elderly loved ones find dignity in dressing up even if no one is coming to visit that day, encourage them. It’s their choice.
Depression is an unfortunately common mental problem among aging family members. One common symptom is a lack of motivation to do basic self-care activities, such as shower, exercise, or dress properly. While even excellent self-care is not a cure for depression and should not be treated as such, encouraging your loved ones to take care of themselves can help alleviate some of the other, more severe symptoms. Seeing themselves freshly bathed and wearing their favorite outfit can do wonders for your loved one’s immediate mood and overall mental health.
Pro Tip: Encouraging self-care as part of an established routine can also be a crucial part of a memory care program for dementia patients. Make sure the assisted living facility you choose will help your loved ones keep up their daily self-care habits.
Self-Care for Seniors
In the end, daily self-care helps your senior loved ones maintain their mental health and dignity just as much as it would help you. Don’t let your family members fear that they’ll lose their identity as they age. Through excellent self-care habits and support from you, your loved ones can continue enjoying their independence.
Join the conversation to learn more about self-care for seniors and how to encourage these practices in your own family members.