In January it's only natural to start thinking about your goals; and the start of a new year is the perfect time to hit reset and take some actionable steps to achieve them. Whether they're short term or long term, it's never too late to set goals for yourself. Maybe your elderly loved ones have goals in mind too but are unsure of how to get started. Perhaps they're struggling with a loss of motivation and discouragement. Whatever their goal may be, change of lifestyle, weight loss, or getting involved with more activities; caretakers and caregivers can help seniors reach those goals by working with them to provide guidance and support.
Write it down
It's good to have a goal in mind, but it's better to write it down. People are encouraged to write their goals along with steps and ideas of how they can achieve it. Doing so will also help your loved one establish a plan and it will give them something to work towards every day.
You can get creative by taking a walk in the park and making a list as you talk to your loved one. Or, you can challenge them to make a list. It's an excellent way to create excitement and stimulate their mind, which promotes healthy processing and decreases risks of memory loss.
Help overcome challenges
If your loved one feels discouraged due to mobility or health issues, you can help raise their hopes by examining problems with them and finding ways to overcome them. If there is a lack of resources, look into what they may need, such as transportation for getting around or clothing for exercise. If you can anticipate what obstacles you may encounter down the line, you can prepare for them early.
Celebrate small accomplishments
People tend to focus on the victory that comes with accomplishing the goal. However, the small steps in between count as well. If your loved one has a goal to walk for ten minutes three times a week and they start by walking for five minutes each day, that's something to celebrate. This counts as progress that brings them closer to that goal. So, celebrate with them and encourage them to not be so hard on themselves if they fall off track.
Just like everyone else, seniors need encouragement too. Whatever their goals are, encourage and support them through it. Remind them that they can do it and that you're there with them every step of the way. Get family and friends involved too, especially if they live far away.
For more information on how DLTC Healthcare and Bella Point can help your loved one as they enter their senior years, visit https://dltchealthcare.com/bella-point/.