It is easy to become caught up in the physical tasks of providing care for an elderly loved one. Responding to calls for help, cleaning, providing healthy meals, ensuring medications are taken and perhaps managing the budget of the one you care for - along with tending to the details of your own life - can keep you busy with little time to spare. However, it takes more than task-oriented duties to keep seniors vital, active and healthy.
A person’s well-being depends on many factors. People are happier and healthier when they are active, connected and feel they contribute to the world around them. When providing care for an elderly family member, it is important to know that your interaction should be customized to the individual, focusing on the “whole person,” in order to maintain activity and engagement in life.
The engagement of the “whole person” is the philosophy behind Interactive Caregiving® - the unique manner in which Comfort Keepers® embraces the act of caregiving. Comfort Keepers knows that seniors who need care also want to maintain happy, independent living within their own homes. Comfort Keepers’ goal is to help the seniors do exactly that by interacting with clients physically, mentally and socially – in ways designed to enhance the overall health and well-being in their lives.
This philosophy can and should be used within the family caregiving realm, as well. Caring for a family member presents a unique responsibility because of the emotional involvement of both parties. Interactive Caregiving transcends typical caregiver-care recipient roles, paving the way for enriching the lives of both. Interactive Caregiving helps make seniors happier and healthier, feel needed, loved and valued. Inspiring these feelings in the elderly cultivates a brighter outlook on life that is vital to sustaining a sense of purpose and encouraging independence
Research indicates that seniors who are physically and mentally active enjoy better health, a more positive outlook on life and higher cognitive functioning.
•Active minds promote independence, better mental and physical health, happiness and longer lives.
•Physical activity maintains muscle and bone strength, fosters independence and can lessen or delay the effects of aging.
•Proper nourishment provides energy, both physically and mentally.
•Safe living environments help prevent accidents and ward off illness, but also facilitate timely responses when either occurs.
Family caregivers should be encouraged to participate in physical activities with elderly loved ones. These include walking or riding bikes, which helps the senior maintain strong muscles and bones. Playing games, solving puzzles, or just spending time together recounting memories can make the one you care for feel less isolated, more valued, while encouraging healthy mental stimulation. You can ensure your loved one is well nourished by preparing and eating meals together, encouraging further socialization.
All of these activities, when performed together, cultivate a bond between you and your loved one, which helps not just the senior, but you, as well. Interacting with – as opposed to simply caring for – may help to calm you, overall. Physical activities, good eating habits and mental stimulation help to keep your own body and mind in good health.
By cultivating the everyday moments of life through engaging activities, a senior’s body, mind and emotions can remain strong and positive, hopefully, for many years to come.
For more information and tips regarding Interactive Caregiving, visit http://www.interactivecaregiving.com/