Seniors need to maintain a healthy self-care routine, especially when living in a nursing home and adjusting to life under the care of others.
Self-care is one of those things that’s easy to overlook, no matter how old a person is. People often put their time and energy into caring for and helping others. It’s easy to put your children, your spouse, or your friends above yourself and your own needs.
But that doesn’t mean self-care isn’t important. It is the act of intentionally taking care of yourself, specifically your physical, mental, and emotional health. The choices you make, the habits you form, and the actions you take affect your overall health. It helps you prevent illnesses or care for your body when you do become sick.
Importance of Self-Care for Older Adults
Caring for yourself makes life more enjoyable, and it helps you cope with stressors and changes more easily. That’s why it’s crucial to maintain a self-care routine when you transition into a nursing home.
Here are some reasons why self-care is important for seniors:
- Boosts your energy levels
- Helps you maintain your mobility
- Helps you set and maintain healthy boundaries with those around you
- Increases your self-confidence and sense of self-worth
- Promotes your independence
- Provides you with the opportunity to monitor your physical and mental health
Self-care is the act of taking the time to know things like your body mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar levels. Then, you can take this information and use it to improve or maintain your physical health.
Similarly, self-care is allowing yourself to evaluate how you are doing emotionally. It’s giving yourself the time to ask how you are feeling. For example, are you happy and hopeful or finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning?
Intimate knowledge of your feelings allows you to seek help when you need it so you can improve your quality of life when you are struggling.
Self-Care Tips and Ideas for Seniors
There are different ways seniors can include self-care in their daily routines. For example, choosing healthy foods and exercising are examples of self-care tips. Good hobbies to participate in include knitting, golfing, or reading. Spending time with others, relaxing, and getting enough sleep are other examples of self-care activities.
Having a routine and ongoing support of your personal self-care from others as you age is vital.
Once something becomes a routine, it is easier to maintain it. If others are supporting your self-care goals, they can encourage you to keep them up if you’re feeling discouraged. They can also help you find ways to overcome any limitations that may arise as you age or walk alongside you as you build these routines into your life.
Maintaining Self-Care in Nursing Homes
It’s often hard to admit when you need help, so moving into a nursing home can be perceived as a challenge to one’s independence and well-being. Not only that, but even seniors who have set self-care routines may struggle to maintain them.
Living in a nursing home may make it harder for seniors to participate in community events, causing older adults to neglect their emotional self-care. This could put them at an increased risk of depression.
If their health declines, residents need to be aware of their signs and symptoms so they can ask for the help they need from the staff. Having a healthy self-care practice can help seniors get more in touch with their health needs, which can help them receive the care they deserve.
Staff should also be supportive and encouraging of residents and provide them personalized self-care tips. Sadly, some residents do face nursing home neglect from staff members, which can lead to severe health complications.
For more information on how to protect older adults from nursing home neglect or abuse, contact the Nursing Home Abuse Center today.