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Old and Bold: 3 Ways to Boost Your Aging Loved One’s Self-Esteem

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It’s almost an unavoidable reality for people to lose their self-confidence as they age. Older adults experience a range of health problems, from poor eyesight and loss of sense of balance to cardiovascular diseases and mobility issues.

As a result, they can’t help but feel worthless, a burden to their families. Add to that the insecurity from overwhelming life changes, such as retirement or death of a spouse, and you have an elderly loved one whose self-esteem tank is running low.

You can make a difference. Here are some of the best ways to boost your aging parent’s self-esteem:

1. Promote a sense of independence.

When seniors feel that they’re no longer able to do the things they once loved doing, that drastically changes their self-perception, leading to feelings of uselessness. This is common among elderly who suffer disability issues because of health conditions or tragic incidents, such as falls.

What you then have to do is to increase their sense of independence, even though there may be limitations in their movements. Mobility aids can help here. For instance, you can install a ceiling hoist or bed poles in their room and grab rails in the bathroom.

It’s also best to have a; wheelchair lift ;Utah specialists fix on to the porch or deck. This will make it easier for them to explore the outdoors, perhaps catch sight of the sunset while dining with friends at the garden. Wheelchair lifts are also a must for vehicles.

2. Keep them connected with social circles.

A lot of older adults tend to isolate themselves as they get older. This all the more worsens their negative perception about themselves. So, as much as possible, you want their social life to be as vibrant as it can be. How do you do this? Well, start with your family.

Encourage your other relatives to maintain constant communication with your elderly loved one. Plan a family gathering every now and then. If your loved one can still move around, go travel, explore a ski resort in another town. If they can’t do that anymore, then a simple dinner would suffice.

If coming together regularly won’t be possible, let your other relatives call up and check on your aging parent. Aside from family, reach out to your loved one’s peers. Perhaps you can host a barbecue party in your yard every once in a while for their friends.

3. Do fun, productive things together.

Man with electric wheelchair
If they’re still able, let them be involved in preparing their meals or at least getting the table ready for dinner. You may also take them with you when you walk your dog to the park or tend your flowers in the garden. Encourage them to volunteer to charities or advocacies in your locale.

When the elderly gets involved in such productive tasks, they won’t feel ‘useless’ anymore. If their health problem prevents them from doing such, plan activities that are appropriate for their range of movements.

Perhaps you can play bridge or board games or see a theater play. The principle is, let them be engaged in fun, productive activities so they can rediscover their self and worth.

Is your loved one isolating themselves from you? Did they lose their passion as they age? It’s time to make a difference. Increase your loved one’s self-esteem with these tips.

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