Comfort and PositivityYou will become what you think of yourself, and that’s especially true for the elderly.

The New York Times reported on a study about the correlation between age stereotypes and recovery from illness and injury published in The Journal of the American Medical Association. The study revealed that older people with a positive age stereotype were “44% more likely to fully recover from a severe disability than those with negative age stereotypes.”

Another study, published in 2002, showed that people with positive perceptions of aging lived an average of 7.5 years longer than those who viewed aging in a negative light.

Positive attitudes and self-esteem building are two essential cornerstones of our care philosophy at Embassy Health Care. Our activities calendar is full of fun exercise sessions, games, crafts and other events that give our residents a sense of accomplishment and vitality.

If you’re caring for your elderly loved one at home, these tips will help him or her feel more capable and useful, which will build his or her self-esteem and change any negative perceptions about aging for the better.

  1. Arrange activities around favorite hobbies, such as simple sewing or woodworking projects.
  2. Ask for help with small chores, such as folding laundry or making a salad to go with dinner.
  3. Participate in a memory project together, such as scrapbooking, that will give you the opportunity to go through old photos and keepsakes.
  4. Involve him or her in decisions about care. If you’re considering part-time or full-time care, bring your loved one along on a tour of the communities you’re evaluating.
  5. Get your youngsters involved. Exposing young children to the elderly will help establish positive attitudes toward aging. And being around young children gives the elderly a chance to share their wisdom.
  6. Get outside. If the weather is nice, take a picnic to the park or go for a short walk. Exposure to natural sunlight boosts serotonin, which helps regulate mood and ward off depression.
  7. Talk openly. Your loved one wasn’t born yesterday, so give him or her plenty of opportunity to share his or her thoughts with you. You never know what you might learn.
  8. Outfit your home with rails and grab bars that will help your loved one get around more easily.
  9. Invest in a comfortable straight-backed chair. This will be easier for someone with limited mobility to sit in or stand up from.
  10. Maintain your own positive attitude. Your attitude is contagious. If you believe your loved one still has a lot to offer, he or she will believe it, too.