We all want our friends and family members to be happy, but finding the right way to make a senior smile can be a challenge. So many have asked the questions: What makes seniors happy? What do they really enjoy?
And although different people like different things, studies show that there are some similarities across the board. Here are three ways to help your elderly loved one find happiness:
1. Plan Social Time.
Many studies indicate that seniors are happier when in the company of others. But that doesn’t mean that every senior wants to be the life of the party. You should plan activities that make him or her most comfortable.
Extroverted Seniors. Some people are naturally extroverted and gain energy from being around crowds. Always the social butterfly, some individuals enjoy jumping from social group to social group. When this individual is alone for too long, they can become antsy and depressed. For such an extrovert, find large gatherings to keep him or her happy. From bingo to art class, if there’s a crowd, they’ll be happy.
Introverted Seniors. On the other hand, some people shy away from such crowded gatherings. They feel the need to recharge by themselves. But that doesn’t mean they don’t want company. Your elderly loved one may prefer smaller groups and less of a crowd. For these seniors, arrange one-on-one time with friends and neighbors to keep them social and happy.
2. Get Moving.
Exercise is rated the number one way to change a bad mood, get energized, and reduce tension. So, help a senior get a little happier by getting him or her moving. They don’t have to go very far or do too strenuous of an activity. Offer to go for a walk with them for some fresh air.
Exercise decreases the levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can do damage not only to happiness, but also the immune system over time. Movement also releases endorphins, which can block pain and increase your mood. So, every time you’re off the couch and moving, you’re closer to boosting those happy chemicals that will last long after the work out is done.
3. Enjoy Simple Pleasure.
While younger people want extraordinary events, seniors tend to relish the ordinary occurrences in life. A study that was just released showed that, as people age, they begin to stop looking for the next exciting thing to do, but instead look forward to the small joys in ordinary days.
By simply bringing your senior loved one over to your house for a home-cooked meal and conversation, it could make them much happier than planning some big outing. Think small for the happiest memories. Take a chance and make a senior smile today!