The daily life of caregiving quickly turns wearisome and repetitive if the routines never expand beyond the necessities. Both caregiver and senior benefit from venturing outside normal meals, hygiene, chores, bills, etc… Cultivating a joyful environment in the home of a senior will increase joy in caregiving, alleviate stress and anxiety, and boost good attitudes and moods.
Five Ideas for Fostering Joy in Caregiving
- According to MayoClinic, laughter does a whole load of good things for your body, including tension relief and stress reduction.
- It’s important to know your loved one’s sense of humor and collect resources accordingly. Whether it’s finding some funny shows on Netflix, looking up jokes, pulling up comedy routines, laughter will pay off.
- Make rest a priority, as a caregiving is prone to exhaustion. If possible, get a full night’s rest and don’t let non-critical activities get in the way. Everyone’s mood and temperament is more patient and relaxed on a full night’s sleep.
- Build breaks into the day where you can mentally re-adjust to the next activity and simply take deep breaths.
- Make a list of favorite songs on Pandora or Spotify and have music be an integral part of daily life. If those apps aren’t available, break out the CD player and speakers and leave it in the living room to easily play music throughout the day.
- Read about the 15 amazing benefits of music here.
- Young life brings new life. It’s amazing the transformation young children can have on older adults. For better or for worse, they don’t treat seniors differently than any other adult. They’ll ask the same questions and make the same demands. This can benefit a senior tremendously in activating their physical, mental abilities, and emotional abilities.
- Schedule visits with the grandkids or research volunteering at the local library to read stories to kids.
- Make the effort to find good, engaging games for your loved one. Activating the brain in this way will improve mood and increase a joyful spirit.
- Whether it’s a video game increasing cognitive skills or a card games, such as this twist on rummy, designate a time in the week for playing.
- Nature walks
- There’s no shortage of research finding nature walks boost your mood.
- Find nature trails through your local park district.
- Many forest preserves hold beautiful trail surrounded by tall trees, lakes, and wildlife. A little bit of green landscape and fresh air will do the body and mind good.
Intentionally cultivating joy in caregiving will safeguard much of the anxiety and depression surrounding the tough work of caregiving. Implementing these ideas will profit the well-being of both caregiver and loved one.