No matter how cheerful a person once has been, seniority could take that away like a thief. Aging gives an elderly a lot of reasons to feel lonesome, grumpy and almost always be in a bad mood.
Although there is no single period or specific age when their mood swings start, the following might trigger senior citizen’s choice to be isolated from others:
– Communication difficulty
– Fear of becoming a burden
– Loss of network of friends
– Living away from children
– Physical incapabilities
– Death of spouse
– Change in living environment
– Living alone
The isolation which results from loneliness eventually turns into something more serious. Among the serious consequences which an elder’s consistent bad mood may lead to are as follows:
– Eating disorders
– Insomnia and other sleeping problems
– Suicidal thoughts and attempts
– Increased anxiety
– Loss of appetite
– Higher risk of heart diseases
– Loss of independence
So how do we conquer loneliness among the elderly?
South Florida Health Care Institute believes that it is the duty of every health care provider to lift the mood of one’s patient, especially the senior citizens who are at great risk to loneliness. Hence, we find it timely and important to share these simple but effective tricks to make your elder patients smile.
- Listen and Understand Them.
Since we were kids, we have been taught by our parents to respect the elderly; but when asked for the reason why this is so, some parents emphasize their frailties than their wisdom. There are parents who really tell their children that senior citizens are weak, so we should be careful from them and take care of them at the same time. We didn’t just learn this from our parents but from media and social media as well.If this same idea was inculcated in your mind, then it would be hard to understand how elders will feel. But we have to change our perspective, and we must understand instead that their incapabilities have come almost naturally. In fact, an effective way to lift their mood up is to show them that we listen to them and we understand them.When you start a conversation with them, they would feel alive and instead of thinking that they do not matter or that you do not value them, they would feel otherwise. So, next time, when you talk with your elderly patients, make them smile by asking engaging topics with them.
- Remind them of Fond Memories.
When elders choose to get isolated and stay in their rooms away from others, their thoughts would usually go wild and get reminded of their faults and bad memories. The end result of repeating these thoughts in their head could either be depression, lack of appetite or suicidal thoughts.Hence, if you care for your patient, you can brighten up their day by asking about good memories when they were in high school. Or, about the love of their lives or about their kids. Through this, you could bring back good memories and keep them away from extreme consequences of loneliness.
- Play games and other shared activities with them.
Most of our trainees often report that they would feel sympathy and empathy towards their wards. Despite fighting these emotions, some would still get affected with the history of a patient or with the current state a patient is in. So they would want to make things better for these people, if possible.A passionate provider of health care services may go beyond what’s required of him/her in the confines of his/her hospital duties in order to make a patient smile. If you are one of them, you could visit your patient and play games with them. It will not take much of your time but it will surely be worth it.
South Florida Health Care Institute in Inverrary Blvd., Lauderhill, Florida do not just want our trainees to learn technical ideas and apply them to their patients without flaw. We also yearn to produce health care providers who are passionate about their jobs and help their patients’ whole well-being to get better.