After the holidays have passed, family get-togethers will become few and far between for the next few months. With the decrease of planned visits and cold weather keeping us inside, it’s important to check-up on your loved ones – especially the elderly.
Research has shown that seniors who are mentally, physically, emotionally and socially engaged enjoy a higher quality of life, maintain cognitive function, stay healthier and retain independence longer.
Physical activity keeps seniors active and healthy, while mental, emotional and social exercises help seniors stay sharp-minded and maintain a positive outlook on life.
“It’s important to have your aging loved ones on your mind. Help them stay active and engaged by making them a part of your daily activities such as gardening, shopping and preparing meals,” said Raquel Mullaney, co-owner of Comfort Keepers’ of South Boston, MetroWest and Cape Cod. “Involving your loved ones in your daily routine will increase their physical activity and stimulate their mind.”
If you are further away from your loved ones and do not have the opportunity to visit, consider having an interactive caregiver become a part of their life. A caregiver can help turn every day practices into interactive tasks, strengthening their mental health. A simple act, such as folding laundry can be an opportunity to move physically, exercise the mind as one practices a structured task, and enjoy a conversation while accomplishing a task.
“A little interaction can go a long way in maintaining your loved ones’ independence,” said Mullaney. “Study after study demonstrates this active approach can help seniors maintain their mental, emotional and physical vitality and allow them to enjoy their life at home.”