If you have loved ones entering their golden years, you no doubt want to provide them with the highest quality of life and standard of living possible. However, many adult children don't have the time, resources, or knowledge to provide this care themselves. As a result, it's common to rely on senior wellness options ranging from in-home nursing to adult daycare.
Although it's easy to focus on how these programs and services can help your loved ones stay healthy, there's more than just a physical component to wellness. If you're making plans to help your parents or other senior loved ones enjoy their retirement, make sure you consider these three essential aspects of wellness.
1. Social Connectedness
Social isolation is one of the greatest risks faced by an aging population. If you're there to help your loved ones through this time, you may feel they're not at risk, but this often isn't the case. Loneliness can be an issue for anyone who doesn't routinely interact with a wider social circle, and the warning signs can often be challenging to spot.
Even if your loved ones are still highly independent, they may not have the options they used to for routine social interactions and may not know where to start looking to connect with new friends. Any plan for long-term wellness plans should include robust and varied social options to meet these needs and ensure they can enjoy retirement without the burden of loneliness.
2. Engaging Activities
The world comes with overwhelming mental stimulation, and you might be desperate for a break after spending every day dragging yourself into the office. However, retirement often poses many different challenges. If your loved ones don't already have a set of deep hobbies they enjoy, they might struggle to find ways to occupy their minds after leaving the workforce.
These activities can help pass the time, provide enjoyment, and even stave off loneliness. Still, they serve another, even more, critical purpose. There's evidence that mental exercises can help reduce or delay cognitive decline, potentially making these activities crucial in maintaining a high quality of life for as long as possible.
It's natural to want to do everything you can to keep your loved ones safe as they age, but many people attach a substantial amount of their sense of self-worth and belonging to their overall independence. You may find that your loved ones struggle or resist options that they perceive as reducing their independence, even if they're necessary for health reasons.
While some reduction in independence may be inevitable, you can take steps to help your loved ones continue to feel in control of their own lives. Working with them to make decisions, arranging for home care options that allow them to stay in their home, and similar approaches can ensure your loved ones continue to feel independent and valued.