It is known that positive attitudes lead to positive results, which is very important when caring for seniors with alzheimer’s or dementia. Not only does positive thinking promote the health of seniors but also reduces depression and stress. Research conducted at the Yale School of Public Health, shows that older adults who have positive attitudes are 50% less likely to develop alzheimer’s & dementia than others. It is paramount for family members and caregivers to have positive attitudes around the elderly because seniors are known to be very impressionable, which can have a great impact on their relationship with you. Here are some ways to identify the needs of seniors in a positive manner.
Use positive language:
Utilizing dismissive language around an individual with dementia can have a great impact on how they feel. As a matter of fact, using this kind of language can have substantial effects on not only seniors but society. Our choice of words or phrases can also affect how we think and act, which is very important to notice when caring for someone with dementia. Those living with this disease often have negative words and phrases thrown at them like: wanderer, losing him/her or someone who has lost their mind or an attention seeker. This language will change the way they feel about themselves, shaping their mood, self-esteem and feelings of happiness or depression. The use of positive language can empower people, improve dignity and promote self worth. Make a senior or loved one feel valued and included by implementing positive words and phrases around them like: going on an adventure.
Practice positive behaviors:
Positive actions lead to positive results. This is especially true in the healthcare industry. Senior care is where this should be taken into consideration the most. Our behaviors have a significant effect on how others feel or perceive us. An article published by, Dementia Care Notes, explains how family members and caregivers who might not fully understand dementia, “may even get irritated or sad because they think the person is stubborn or lazy. This reaction makes the persons with dementia feel worse and affects their behavior.” As mentioned earlier, the use of positive language can have great effects on seniors with dementia. However, seniors often have trouble with verbal communication and turn to other ways of making sense of their surroundings.Therefore, making it a habit to keep positive thoughts, smile and use positive body language can help both parties communicate effectively. Here are some important things to keep in mind when caring for older adults with Alzheimer’s: use gestures, eye contact, positive facial expressions and keep an open posture.
Create a positive environment:
The feeling of belonging also known as acceptance can help adults with and without dementia enjoy life. Most people obtain this feeling from being in a positive environment that comforts and supports their wellbeing. A positive environment is very important for those with cognitive illness and as mentioned by Alzheimers.net, “Alzheimer’s makes seniors feel more anxiety and stress, become more sensitive to their physical and social environments, and rely more on their senses for cues about what is going on around them.” There are many ways to help seniors with Alzheimer’s live healthy, here is a few things you can do to help make your environment a positive one: decorate the home with relaxing colors, make rooms easy to navigate and make sure outdoor areas are easily accessible and safe.
At Spring Hills Senior Communities, we understand that our seniors are very impressionable and by having a positive attitude can impact their relationship with you or a caregiver. Our seniors really depend on our positive attitudes and its important for our seniors feel that enthusiasm. Our Vice President of Home Care Operations, Andre Gomez, noted, “The number 1 facilitator is a positive attitude, taking care of a senior with a negative mindset will never work. A consistent smile and a congenial approach will always peak the interest of a senior and turn their attitude around.” To find out more about our approach to offering services that are designed to meet the needs and preferences of residents and clients, click here.