Mar 9th, 2012 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Aging Brings Losses

Having gone through several of the stages of aging, there is one that brings about the most difficulty and the least satisfaction.  When life loses its lustre, as a senior, the real challenges begin. Boredom, physical impairments, loss of interest in interactive involvements, limiting behaviors, e.g. mobility, eyesight, tracking conversations, and so on make for limited activity for seniors.

This phase is a challenge both to the aging person and those who continue to try to find ways to inject meaning into living.   When you hear, in the voice of the aging person, a lack of enthusiasm, a declining interest in carrying on a conversation, an inability to have much to offer in a conversation,  it becomes increasingly difficult to stimulate an active day to day routine.

Care facilities attempt to offer ways and means for residents to be involved.  However lacking in imagination these may be, they are an attempt to create something to look forward to, means for being more alert and using mind and cognitive skills and interacting with others.

Clearly, day to day living in a care facility becomes an increasing challenge for developing activity, inspiring interest, and enabling interchange among and with others.  It is not possible to offer someone eight or more hours of active participation, unless they share in the initiative themselves.

Seniors who have been and remain socially active in nursing homes and assisted living facilities help themselves enormously by engaging in conversation, initiating common activities, e.g. walking together, if possible, playing table games, including puzzles, inviting visitors to drop in on occasion. Seniors who live more independently may be more active with friends and family assisting their social intercourse; or they may fall prey to the same kind of isolation some residents of care facilities experience.

The more isolated seniors become, the more bored they also become.  The more one is inclined to seek privacy in one’s own room/home, the less it is likely interest and stimulation will happen.

Tips for Increasing Senior Citizen Daily Activities

Reading, however, as an individual activity for the elderly is a good way to continue outside interests.  Word puzzles, cross words, reading the Bible and other devotional books offers a chance to get beyond oneself.

When inquiring, “what did you do today,” perhaps it would be helpful, if the answer is “nothing” or ”not much,” to  reply by offering further ideas.  “Did you think  about calling your good friend?”  “How are you coming on that book or puzzle or magazine article?”  Stimulation requires initiative.  Lacking personal desire for doing things, it becomes an increasing challenge to prompt the senior doing so.

Visit with staff/family/friends to help identify ways to involve your loved one more in activity beyond themselves.  Ask other residents/friends to include your loved one in their activities.  When visiting, suggest a walk in a mall or some other pleasant place.  Try to pry your elderly loved one away from just being isolated.

When Life Loses its Lustre, it is time to do some polishing.  It is necessary to find ways to nudge seniors to take on more interests and some activity that looses the bonds of boredom and an apathetic disposition. A spiritless lethargy can lead to more serious issues and conditions.  Do all within your ability to offer sparkle and some spunk to life and living for and with your senior loved one.

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